Electrical workers express grievances over MLGW treatment - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Electrical workers express grievances over MLGW treatment

Electrical workers packed a local union hall Saturday to voice their concerns about their treatment by Memphis Light Gas & Water.

At a highly-charged union meeting, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1288 said MLGW is holding on by a band-aid.

"They are not going to treat the rate-payers and the employees at this company like this and us sit back and be quiet," said president J.D. Cox. "If you don't believe us, you call the company and ask them how many maintenance requests they have outstanding right now."

According to IBEW members, MLGW is cutting staff so much that they're unable to keep up with regular maintenance, putting workers into emergency mode and forcing them to work overtime.

IBEW Business Manager Rick Thompson says customers are getting a raw deal, too.

"Staff these departments correctly and there will be no overtime...but they know in a lot of cases it's cheaper to work overtime than to hire employees," said Thompson.

The union says MLGW has been ignoring their concerns.

"It's almost like they're trying to make the union irrelevant," said Thompson.

MLGW had no comment, but a utility representative took notes during Saturday's meeting.

But other folks are taking workers' concerns seriously: 11 out of 13 city council members accepted their invitations to Saturday's meeting.

"The session today was to express a wide range of grievances dealing with morale at the company, dealing with overtime, dealing with just simply doing things the right way," said councilman Myron Lowry.

Council members say they look forward to hearing MLGW's response to these complaints.


Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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