No Union agreement made yet

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 2004

No agreement and no word of a labor strike emerged from meetings between officials of Alabama Power and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union on Tuesday.

Over the weekend, union officials announced their rejection of a labor contract between its 2,800 members and Alabama Power Company.

Union employees held a vote on Aug. 13, giving leaders the right to call a strike as part of their bargaining tools. Last week, employees voted for the first time on the Alabama Power contract and rejected the offer.

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Carrie Kurlander, spokeswoman for Alabama Power, said little had come from Tuesday’s meetings between the company, union officials and federal mediators.

“Right now, there’s nothing new to report,” she said.

According to media reports, union employees are concerned about safety, seniority and benefits with the company. Across the state, there are 2,800 union employees and they are scattered in different fields.

“These employees are in generation, transmission and distribution, and that does include some the employees at the Greene County Steam Plant,” said Steve Hood, a regional spokesman for Alabama Power.

While there has been no word about whether union employees will strike immediately, local union leader Bubba Bryant said a 48-hour notice would be given.

While negotiations continue, Kurlander did say Alabama Power plans to send 200 contract workers to Georgia to help in the wake of Hurricane Frances.

“This will, in no way, affect the service our Alabama customers receive,” Kurlander said.

Last week, Alabama Power said it would not be able to send employees to aid in the Hurricane Frances clean-up because of the looming labor strike.