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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dominion Transmission Local 69 Natural Gas Pipeline Workers Locked Out By Company At 12:01 AM Today

September 6, 2016

Dear Dominion Transmission/Dominion Hope Local 69-represented Employee:

Since July 15, 2016, we have been unable to reach an agreement with Local 69 on the Company’s proposals (Alternatives A and B) for a new collective bargaining agreement. As a result, Local 69-represented employees will be locked out beginning Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at 12:01 AM. This means you will not be permitted to work after that time until further notice.

The Company is locking out Local 69 employees because of Local 69’s refusal to accept any of the Company’s offers or honor its obligations under the August 26, 2016 tentative agreement. That tentative agreement, which the Union reneged on, consisted of the Company’s Alternative A proposal, plus enhancements that included financial incentives the Company previously offered to Local 69 back in June in exchange for a neutral recommendation on the Company proposals the membership voted down. It also included a promise that Local 69 “agrees to recommend a favorable vote on the mutual agreement arrived at by the Negotiating Committees.” On August 31, 2016, however, Local 69 informed us that it would not take the tentative agreement out for a ratification vote.

The Company has told the Union from the beginning of negotiations that any agreement would have to include the new hire proposals. These proposals are fair and consistent with what other employers are offering in today's marketplace. These new hire provisions already apply to all of the non-union employees across Dominion. A majority of the 3,100 Dominion Virginia Power employees who are represented by IBEW Local 50 recently voted to accept these same proposals in a labor agreement almost identical to the proposals that the Company offered to Local 69 months ago. We have had long and mutually beneficial collective-bargaining relationships with both Local 69 and Local 50. Unfortunately, the Local 69’s unreasonable position has left the Company with no option other than the lockout to persuade the Union to change its position and agree to a new contract.

Under the lockout, Local 69-represented DTI and Hope employees will not be allowed to work. If the Union ratifies or otherwise accepts as a contract any of the Company’s offers - Alternative A or Alternative B or the tentative agreement reached on August 26, 2016 (Alternative A with enhancements) - the Company will end the lockout and you will be able to return to work. During the lockout, the Company will continue to operate using temporary replacements capable of operating its system until regular employees return after the lockout.

We regret that this action is necessary but we cannot operate indefinitely without the stability of a labor contract and under the constant threat of a strike at any time with no notice. However, faced with the possibility of a strike now or in the winter months at our busiest season, we must act to ensure continued safe and uninterrupted service to the public and our customers. We have a duty to serve our customers and the public, and we will not jeopardize safe and reliable service to our customers and the public who rely on us.

We understand that you will have questions in the days ahead about your benefits during the lockout, the status of negotiations, when you can return to work, etc. The Company has established a website https:\\drs.dom.com\dti_hope_labor_negoti where you can get negotiations updates. It will also have a link where you can submit questions and responses will be posted. Further, you should also consult with your Union if you have questions about any of their positions.

During the lockout, the Company will not tolerate any violence or destruction toward Company employees, equipment, replacement workers, contractors or their property. All such acts will be immediately investigated and appropriate action taken, including referral for potential criminal prosecution by state or federal law enforcement. This may involve the FBI and the US Office of Homeland Security for incidents affecting the Company’s physical or cyber assets that are part of the country’s critical energy infrastructure.

When the lockout ends, we will notify the Union and you of the date and time you can return to work. We will also post that information generally on our website. Please keep your contact information up to date.

We have come to this decision only after careful thought and with great reluctance. We thank you for your dedicated service and look forward to your return. As always, be safe.

Sincerely,

Brian C. Sheppard
Vice President—Pipeline Operations
Dominion Transmission

Jeffrey A. Murphy
Vice President & General Manager
Dominion Hope


cc. Craig Bradford --President, UGWU Local 69 

UGWU Local 69
9 hrs ·9-6-2016 @ 3:54 PM
NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE #84
The Union and the Company have agreed to hold a bargaining session on Thursday September 8th. The parties have also agreed to incorporate the services of the Federal Mediator and he is scheduled to attend. 


As most of you are noticing the Company seems to be taking steps to lock the Union out which could occur at any moment. The Company has expressed concerns to the Union about the potential of a Strike we have made it clear that we do not intend to strike in the near future. We have even offered to the Company an agreement to not strike while we are still negotiating if they will not Lock out the Union. 

This was done as a good faith effort to help reach an agreement. I want the membership to fully understand if a work stoppage occurs it will be in the form of an unjust lockout implemented by the Company not by the Union. If a work stoppage occurs it will clearly be on the Company's hands and is not necessary but done as a vindictive act. 

Continue to go to work until notified. We stand together. PROUD TO BE UNION PROUD OF MY UNION.

MEMBERS UPDATE
We are getting many reports and updates throughout our system of facility's being chained and locked. The Union has not been officially notified of any lockout but it seems it is occurring. Employees should attempt to work as scheduled tomorrow or tonight and if not allowed to work contact your Steward, Director or Officer for instructions as to what they need to do. Stand strong and stay informed..

50 comments :

Anonymous said...

The Union became too greedy. This is what happens when you already make a ton of money and feel you deserve more because someone else is offering it. Well if you want what other employers are offering, go work for them. Stop being a baby and be grateful to have work. You received exactly what you have earned and if that means the unemployment line. You will still make more money on unemployment than most people in the area that are struggling to simply eat. Your lock out will create jobs for the people that really need them. Where can I apply???

Anonymous said...

If the Union accepts this offer, you will not want the job, as it is the new hires that the union is trying to protect. If you did get a job with Dominion, wouldn't you like to have a pension, and medical insurance upon your retirement? The active union employees are not seeking any increase in pay or benefits, just trying to stop a multi billion dollar company from taking away benefits it has already agreed to pay to many people who retired from their company, and future employees. Just trying to set the record straight, current employees are not asking for anything, just trying to keep what they already agreed to!

Anonymous said...

Ironically if you read why there is a lockout. ...it has NOTHING to do with Wages!! Some should get the facts before running there mouths!

Anonymous said...

1:58 Youre the problem with this country. You'd rather beat up the little man asking for .50/hr than berate management for taking millions. If more people unionized and legislators didnt have a stake in sending jobs overseas you would most likely have a job, a good paying safe job with decent benefits.

Forget about being a scab. They wont hire you. You may get a temporary position, but in the end the company doesnt want someone like you. You dont have the experience. You are unable and unwilling to learn. Your job history sucks. You most likely wont show up every day much less expected to last 40 yrs at the company. Otherwise, you would have been hired long ago.

These companies see your type every day all across the US, and bank on your jealousy in contract negotiations. And theyll use you, and spit you out. One of the most memorable is Harley in York. While Wandell broke the union(though a skeleton still stands) Wandell took millions in salary, and many more millions in bonuses and stock options. Rifting hundreds of union employees and hiring a few temps, which by the way never get hired full time, never receive benefits, and make $10 less/hr working shoulder to shoulder with a union member. Youre just a number. And unsafe one at that, a liability to the company. But youre a risk the shareholders are willing to take, until they need new blood and youre out the door.

Stick to stocking shelves at Jubilee or Napa part time, for minimum wage. Thats all your worth. Again, otherwise youd already be making good money. But youre not. Because you dont care about maikng the company money, much less care about safety and the wellfare of your fellow employees.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read where they asked for anymore they just want to keep what they have and what the already retired were promised.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Union showed them "whose boss"!

Anonymous said...

times are changing the union should recognize this. Their time is coming to an end. If all goes the way that is wanted none in America will have jobs. You will get what the government wants you to have and that willl be that. Sad to say.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't about money idiot

Anonymous said...

Your ignorant and have no idea about the negotiations! It's not about money! It's about new hire pension and taking away past retirees health insurance you need to get a clue before you comment!

CRM said...

My understanding is that money wasn't the issue. The company doesn't want to allow any newly hired employees into the pension plan and the current employees are standing together to protect new and future employees

Anonymous said...

It's not the union being greedy it's the company being greedy. They want to take more from the employees and the retirees and the new hires and put more in their pocket. Of you knew what they were fighting for you wouldn't be running your mouth. And they aren't fighting to get more they are fighting to keep what they already got!! Stay strong

Anonymous said...

Yet another company being screwed by greedy unions !

Anonymous said...

That was a smart move,management. Hope you have fun running our stations. All dominion wants to do is put more work on the workers and take away benefits and wages that we all worked for and earned.CORPORATE GREED

Skinny Fats said...

It comes from greed on the companies part also. Dominion had a profit of over $2 billion dollars last year. Obviously the current contract isn't breaking the company finances. This figure is amazing because the price of natural gas is at a low currently. Why do they now feel that they need to change what the original contract had in it and mess with new hires and retirees benefits? The Union wasn't asking for huge pay raises....just a normal cost of living raise for union workers. I'm sure that corporate management got their annual raises....CEO Thomas Farrell received a salary of $9.6 million last year...

Anonymous said...

Check your facts before tou spout off. This had nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with corporate greed and the union trying to protect its retirees. Dominion is the lowest paid utility company. So before you keep spouting off about this matter , please check your facts and know what you are saying to be true.

Anonymous said...

The union didn't become greedy because the problem was not money contrary to what you think.

Anonymous said...

1:58 Scabs suck. Get your own job.

Anonymous said...

If companies were fair. We wouldn't have unions in the first place. It's not always about the money.

Anonymous said...

Where can I apply for one of these 'temporary' jobs? Theres no doubt I can do 90% of the available jobs.
I haven't had a cost of living increase in over 6 years so quit crying and be happy with what you have. /( had)
Once the new 'temporary' people get in there and become efficient at their jobs (which will only take about 2 weeks), the company won't even remember who you union bums are.
Its good to see some Management with some backbone.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 1:58:00 AM EDT <<< Did you even read the article ? If this is your take on the PRINTED article you are unemployable.

Anonymous said...

9:33 If you do apply for a job? Do so for a management job. Sounds like you'd make a good one.

Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned that the contract they are being offered is the SAME EXACT contract offered to non union employees or that it is very similar to contracts used by other pipeline companies. Stop being greedy.

Anonymous said...

The comments about management being happy to run the stations are stupid. The people being forced to work while you are all locked out have NO SAY in the contract.

Anonymous said...

9:33 youll never get hired permanently if you get hired at all. Companies use scabs, and discard them once a contract is reached. Been union all my life. Believe me, no one, union or company, likes a** kissers. And btw, you think you can pick up in 2 weeks? HA! Engineers working here 30 yrs couldnt do our jobs when we went on strike, wtf makes you think you could?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with stocking shelves, sweeping floors, mowing lawns etc. and once you union members don't have a job anymore and your unemployment runs out you will realize that. Then those jobs might look pretty good to you. But they probably won't hire you because you wont have experience and you are unable and unable to learn AND YOUR WORK HISTORY SUCKS.
He who laughs last............

Anonymous said...

The management and scabs do not know how to safely run the transmission stations the public needs to be concerned for the safe transmission of gas

Anonymous said...

In the end it is always about the money and how much they can save!

Anonymous said...

I'll bet I could learn to turn a gas valve on and off, cant be that hard. Obviously

Anonymous said...

Does everyone feel better now! Writing about something you know nothing about shows your ignorance. Try living on minimum wage w/o insurance then being fined when you file your income tax. Thank you to the rich and powerful!!

Jack Reacher said...

Don't let the union guys fool you people. The Dominion plants in this area are highly overmanned with highly over paid, very uneducated employees that spend most of their days driving around burning fuel. I can't count on two hands the number of times I have actually seen a dominion truck sitting on a pull off or dirt road with the driver taking a nap. The plants are built to run automatically....everything is computer controlled. Probably the most important people that work there are the janitorial staff.....

Makes you wonder what these guys will do in a month when their payment on their new trucks, side by sides, and snowmobiles are all due and they still aren't working. Will the union make your truck payment boys???

Anonymous said...

Some of you people have no idea what goes into operating pipeline systems and compressor stations. I don't work for Dominion but rather another local gas company. I'm not saying our jobs are physically demanding but working with extremely flammable, explosive gas under high pressure is anything but just turning a valve. Maybe when they blow a giant gas cloud or better yet somebody's house into the sky you people will bite your tongues. If a company is going to put you in charge of billions of dollars worth of product and the safety of thousands of people you better believe they're going to want someone qualified and that cost money like it or not.

Anonymous said...


I think I can ride around in a pickup and go well to well and open and close valves when told to do so doesn't take a genius. OUT

Anonymous said...

First off i am a gas plant worker for a different company and everyone out there that thinks these places run themselves and anyone off the street could do these jobs are just joking themselves, they are for the most part VERY skilled and dangerous fields to work in.. Now what dominion employees need to see though is that pensions are a thing of the past and the company I work for went through this years ago and the company won, they always will... Unions do nothing but protect the slatherass that doesn't want to do his job, i am thankful that our company hasn't unionized.. Even without a pension theses workers are never gonna make $25-30 hr in potter or tioga county's, soon enough they'll realize that and sign it, i feel bad for the guys that would like to but aren't being heard...

Anonymous said...

Ok 11:11,, You have "been union all my (your) life".. Soon, you wont be able to say that anymore........you will be UNEMPLOYED!
Right where you belong.

Anonymous said...

3:54 pm..... first intelligent comment of the day! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I guess everyone forgets we had a dominion well explosion a while back 2 men were burned seriously and they were highly trained what do you think is going to happen when someone without that training goes to tend those wells people?? Dominion is playing Russian roulette with every well in our area by using untrained staff and management to run these stations

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of Crap! 3.54, quotes not going to make 25 to 30 dollars an hour in Potter County. These guys wouldn't even go to work if they weren't hauling home at the very least 25 to 30 per hour. They were paid that much or more 10 years ago.and 8.43 is saying this gas company is the lowest paid utility, I don't comprehend that premise either. Years ago their vehicles made the rest of ours look like like play Trucks! These guys are union and 25 dollars an hour is play money to them. I do think they are fighting to protect future retirees, which is a great cause, hang on to those benefits as long as you can. The company can afford to pay that for loyal employees.

Anonymous said...

National Fuel has figured out how to automate their plants to run with no people . Dominion will now be doing the same. Good job union!

Union strong! said...

I support the union! Stand strong! Some people just have no clue this is not about your paycheck this is about people's health and well being!!!! As a matter of fact about yours( potential new hires).

Travis Rees said...

Stand Strong!!!

Anonymous said...

Boohoo, it's a buisness dumba%#&#, the company really doesn't owe you anything, they pay you to do a job, plain and simple. If they need to make adjustments to be profitable, guess what, you will feel the pinch! Suck it up!

Anonymous said...

Yeah a CEO made over 7 million last year and a profit of 2 billion Dominion Transmission is really worried about profit

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:21, what well are you talking about? The one in Salem Township his April? If so that was not dominion, not a well, and was no fault of operations. Rather just a random failure. Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

Nope one a few years back it was Dominion none recent because they are highly trained. But now they won't be

Anonymous said...

It's not the union dummy.

Anonymous said...

The company should stand strong. Far far too many who just ride the great pay and benefits. Truth is, the company could do the job with about half of what they have. Naptime, deer scouting, trapping, personal errands, and a dozen more perks on the company dime would come to an end. What would the loss be? Nothing. The company will either go non-union and hire the best candidates who will be willing to learn and train and appreciative OR the company will settle and then layoff down to a level which will save the target amount anyhow. I see a layoff in the near future regardless of the strike outcome.

Anonymous said...

Verizon workers just went through the same thing. Listen up, this is NOT ABOUT MONEY! They too were being challenged with having their benefits and well-earned pensions taken away. If you had worked for a company (and btw, STARTING wages were LOW)for 25-40 years, how would you like it if the company you worked for took your pension away? Stand strong workers. While it's a fact that while on strike one will never regain the wages lost during that time, you will gain be better men and women for standing up for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

The Ceo made 20+ Million last year. But 7 is close.

Anonymous said...

They're not on strike. That's what a majority of everyone doesn't get . The union employees are not on strike. They were locked out. It's not a strike. Did I mention they were locked out and this is not a strike?

Anonymous said...

Well of course they were locked out, the union management refuses to compromise with the company they work for. I'm sorry if I did that at my non union job I would have been fired. If you don't like then job then get another one!! NO ONE is forcing you to work for dominion.