Union Strike Ends As N.H. Electric Cooperative, IBEW Reach Tentative Deal

May 17, 2018

IBEW union members employed by N.H. Electric Coop as they planned to strike over a contract dispute.
Credit Courtesy IBEW

A strike at the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative is over after members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers voted to ratify a new contract. 

The company reached the three-and-a-half year agreement with its 83 union workers Thursday, more than a week after they walked off the job.

They were picketing for more control of their pensions than the co-op initially wanted to give. In a statement, the union says the contract they agreed to addresses those concerns.

The strike was the first for the IBEW in New Hampshire and Maine in at least 30 years.

In its statement, the union says its members' "courage and determination ... cannot be overtated," and calls community support for the picketers "overwhelming." 

The contract still needs a final vote from the co-op's board of directors early next week. After that, the union says its members will return to work.

Until then, the utility says outside contractors will continue filling in for the co-op's line crews and responding to any outages.

The co-op serves 84,000 customers in more than 100 New Hampshire towns. 

(This post was updated late Thursday afternoon.)