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Early retirement offered at power company.

Early retirement offered at power company

In Upstate New York, 8,100 employees of Niagara Mohawk Power Co. agreed to extend their current contract for 1 year, to May 31, 1990, and to defer a scheduled 4.7-percent wage increase for I year, to June 1989. In return, the company agreed not to subcontract janitorial work, which would have eliminated 120 jobs in the bargaining unit, according to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents the workers.

In 1987, the employees had rejected a company proposal to defer for 1 year a 4.5-percent wage increase scheduled for June 1987. The utility then announced plans to cut 389 jobs from the bargaining unit as part of an ongoing program to cut costs. However, only 44 employees were cut because some workers were shifted to other jobs. According to a union official, the 1988 proposal was accepted by the employees because it was initiated by the union and because it contained more "guarantees" for the employees. According to both parties, the settlement signaled an improvement in their bargaining relationship.

The new contract also extended an early retirement option to employees in the bargaining unit. Under the option (which was offered to nonunion employees in 1987), union members who were on the payroll on April 29, 1987 and who attained age 58 and 10 years of service any time in 1987 could retire at unreduced pension rates. In addition, the retirees would receive a $700 a month supplement until they reach age 62.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations; Niagara Mohawk Power Co.
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:May 1, 1988
Words:252
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