An energy company that employs 500 or more West Virginians is proposing some changes some workers are not happy about. Union workers are doing what they call “informational picketing” outside of Dominion Natural Resources.
Union workers describe their current situation with Dominion Natural Resources as stalled. They have three big concerns with the proposed contracts surrounding medical benefits and pension plans for new hires and retirees.
“They’re saying they don’t know what the medical is going to be in the next 20 or 30 years,so they’re trying to you know want us to accept something that they have no clue what it’s going to be like in 20 or 30 years so if that’s the case than come back to us in 20 or 30 years and talk about it,” said Willard Swigger, Region One director for Union 69.
Dominion representatives said that the impasse is just a misunderstanding.
“We pay good wages we pay good benefits, we feel we have a fair package that is before them. And I think they’re countering with some things and we’re countering with some ideas and we continue to negotiate in good faith,” said Bob Orndorff, Dominion state director for local and state government affairs.
Union workers said Dominion is financially set for years and doesn’t understand why they are asking for cuts from their employees.
“They call the retirees and the new hires book ends, we’ll give you a contracts for the folks in the middle but the bookends are the retirees and the new hires and that’s who’s going to be affected. We have to look out for the people who helped get us to where we’re at the retirees, and we have to look out for our future too,” said Swigger.
Dominion said that they are confident they will reach an agreement soon.
“These guys and ladies are good at what they do, they are paid very well. And we are proud of our work force. When it comes to negotiating these contracts things happen that are unexpected,” said Orndorff.