C.J. McManus – Sun Advocate
Union employees at the Deer Creek Mine voted to ratify a newly proposed three year contract on Friday, ending over two years of labor negotiations with Energy West’s parent companies PacifiCorp and MidAmerican Energy.
“This is a good contract,” said United Mine Workers of America International Vice President and contract negotiator Mike Dalpiaz. “After more than two years, I felt good about bringing this back to our guys.”
According to Dalpiaz, Deer Creek’s active employees voted late Friday morning on a deal which was struck with company representative Cindy Crane on October 20.
The deal was reportedly ratified by a “significant margin,” and pending the finalization of one detail in Washington D.C., the contract will become final.
Benefits that the miners will receive through the new contract include:
• A $55 increase in their annual clothing allowance;
• One additional sick day per year, making their total 11;
• An arbitration settlement worth nearly $20,000 for miners who worked all the way though the negotiations. This includes $12,500 for sick leave and vacation in 2014 and 2014, a $3,000 ratification bonus, and:
• A $1 per hour retroactive increase in pay for all hours worked in 2013 and 2014;
• A $1 per hour additional raise, which goes into effect as the contract becomes effective;
• A 3.5 percent increase in pay in October 2015 and again in October 2016;
Concerning health care and retirement benefits, all current employees will have their health care remain just as it was prior to the negotiations. As for retirement, the H&R Funds Trustees approval of the contract will cause Energy West to provide $150 million to ensure health care for life to all vested employees. (…)