Local unions have been battling with National Grid for months, claiming public safety may be at risk – and today, locked-out gas workers rallied in Boston to bring attention to their cause.
Their battle with National Grid started back in June when their contract expired. The unions say they were prepared to keep working as negotiations went on, but National Grid locked them out the day after the contract was up.
Now, those union members say they've been left without benefits like health insurance and untrained personnel are doing the potentially dangerous work that they used to do.
Meanwhile, National Grid has said in a statement that they have "successfully completed more than 1,800 jobs over the past 12 weeks without incident." The company says it was a difficult decision to lock out the union workers, but claims they must "balance the needs of [their] employees with the interests of [their] customers]" and that no progress had been made in past negotiations stretching back to 2016.
Jim Braude was joined by John Buonopane, president of United Steel Workers Local 12012, and David Monahan, a union service tech out of Lowell.