June 5, 2009 Volume 110 Number 11

OPEIU Local 11 members at NW Natural reject contract

Workers at NW Natural rejected the company’s five-year contract offer May 28 and are now working without a contract.

About 700 workers at the gas company are represented by Office and Professional Employees Local 11.

The contract vote was 206 to accept and 230 to reject.

Local 11 Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Richards said he will meet with shop stewards June 8 and try to meet with the company June 15 or 16.

Richards said the rejected proposal contained guaranteed cost of living adjustments ranging from 1 to 6 percent; no co-payments for health insurance for the first two years of the pact, and then no more than 3 percent premium-sharing after 2011, based on a cost of living adjustment. The proposal also guaranteed no layoffs for workers hired before April 1, 2004 (approximately 75 percent of the workforce), and it offered $400 to cover a change in pay periods.

“We will meet with our stewards to determine what the issues are, then we’ll proceed from there,” Richards said.

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