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LABOR NEWS UPDATE: 1,419 Baltimore Gas & Electric Workers Vote To ‘Go Union’ With The International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers

Published Friday, January 13, 2017
by Carrie Wells/The Baltimore Sun

(BALTIMORE, MARYLAND) - Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (BGE) Employees voted Thursday night (January 12th) to Unionize under the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), something organizers said would give 1,419 workers "a voice at the table."

The Gas and Electrical Workers will be organized under a new Local - Local 410. Baltimore-based BGE is owned by Chicago-based Exelon and was the only one of six Exelon utilities not represented by a Union.  Bert McDermitt, a Regional Organizing Coordinator for the IBEW, said the vote was 741 for and 610 against.

Union Organizer Eric Gomez, an Underground Lines Crew Leader at BGE, called the vote "wonderful."  "We've ‘put a lot of blood, sweat and tears’ into this over the last few years and ‘it finally came to fruition,’" he said.

Gomez thought the move would “improve” the company: "I think it's going to make the company a ‘better place’ to work and I think it'll ‘enhance’ the company and ‘provide a better product’ for the customer.  I think this will ‘definitely benefit’ our customers ‘in the long run.’"

And - it would, Gomez said, give Employees "a ‘voice at the table’ with the company."

It was the fifth attempt to organize BGE Workers in the last 21 years.

The most recent failed vote was in 2010.

The IBEW held a rally in front of Exelon's Harbor Point building earlier this week to build support for the Unionization Drive.

BGE and its then-parent company, Constellation, were acquired by Exelon in 2012.

Employees in favor of the Union have previously said they were concerned that more contractors have been working for the company since the acquisition, potentially jeopardizing Worker safety.

BGE has rejected those claims.

The IBEW represents about 725,000 Members and Retirees in utilities, construction, broadcasting and manufacturing, among other fields.

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