The Malden City Council officially wants the National Grid lockout to end.
At its first meeting back from summer break, the City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolve that urges National Grid its current lockout of union gas workers through a “fair and equitable contract that provides for competitive wages and benefits” to those currently out of work. USW Gas Workers Union representative John Buonopane, who spoke to the council prior to the vote, explained that, despite the union offering to extend the current collective bargaining agreement through the negotiation period, National Grid locked out union workers about 12 weeks ago and ended their health insurance coverage after the first week. Since then the two sides have met weekly to no avail, with Buonopane claiming that National Grid is unwilling to change is offer. In the interim, National Grid has replaced them with lesser experienced workers, and Buonopane claims that there have been several complaints, including potential OSHA violations for unsafe working conditions. “We think you should take a serious look at passing a resolution,” said Buonopane. “It’s about the safety of the City of Malden.” Included in the resolve passed by the council stipulations calling for an end to non-emergency gas work while the lock out continues and for increased level of scrutiny by city inspectors on all work that is done at this time.