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USWA: BOSTON GAS USWA LEADER AT MALDEN CONDEMNS LOCKOUT OF WORK FORCE

 MALDEN, Mass., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) said today a leader of the newly locked out members of the USWA at Boston Gas Co.'s Malden Division, condemned distortions by management in public statements made about the company's final contract proposal on Sunday.
 Janet McDonough, president, Local 12007, representing 201 members now locked out by Malden Division, declared that the union offered to continue negotiating on a day-to-day basis past the midnight expiration on March 28, but Boston Gas refused, and instead sent employees home.
 "Boston Gas wrote on their last offer, no contract -- no work. They conspired to put us on the streets by making health care premium costs and Pru-Care the main issue and claiming our members didn't vote on the final offer," McDonough said.
 "But I've got news for Boston Gas. Our members showed up at Anthony's Restaurant at 10 a.m. on Sunday, and they voted unanimously to reject the proposal's wages, pension cap, drug testing program, work preservation, retiree medical program and the health care package." According to McDonough, more than 180 members were present.
 The Local 12007 president declared the Malden members now stand in solidarity with the 900 locked out Boston Gas workers in the Boston division who have been on the picket lines since their contract expired on Jan. 24, the union said.
 "I cannot understand why Boston Gas would not accept our reasonable offer to continue negotiations. We demonstrated a will to reach a new agreement by an 18-hour marathon session that began on Saturday morning," McDonough said. "They were intent on a lockout strategy in defiance of their customers' interest and in support of their stockholders' dividends."
 She asserted that Boston Gas actually began sending employees home on Sunday morning during the union membership meeting and nearly 12 hours in advance of the contract expiration.
 "We had an entire work force available to report on Monday under our `on-call' provision," McDonough declared, "but Boston Gas chained the entrance gates and added outside security guards with dogs to prevent us from reporting to work. It's a sham that a gas utility's mission to serve the public has been overshadowed by their hidden agenda to impose drastic reductions in our real wages and benefits to line their own pockets," McDonough said.
 Saying the Boston Gas USWA members won't be intimidated, nor have their rights trampled by a utility conglomerate, McDonough has instructed the locked out gas workers to begin signing up for state unemployment compensation at union headquarters, 259 Charles St., in Malden.
 A local 12007 rally has also been scheduled for Thursday, April 1, at the Malden company office at 100 Commercial St., at 10:30 a.m., when Louis Thomas, director, USWA District 14, will address members and their families on the picket line.
 Members of Local 12007 include Boston Gas employees involved in service, distribution, maintenance and clerical responsibilities for 14 communities in the Mystic Valley, Mass., area, including Malden, Medford, Melrose and Everett.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Frank Leydon of USWA Local 12007, 617-321-1331, or Bob Doyle, USWA staff representative, 617-848-2865/


CO: United Steelworkers of America; Boston Gas Co. ST: Massachusetts IN: UTI SU:

CD-KC -- PG005 -- 1014 03/30/93 11:45 EST
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Date:Mar 30, 1993
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