Alger Delta employees go on strike

GLADSTONE – Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association employees, who are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 876, began picketing outside the cooperative’s Gladstone headquarters this morning after announcing a strike. Alger Delta serves approximately 10,000 electric customers in Alger, Delta, Menominee, Marquette and Schoolcraft counties.

“We have been working in good faith with union leadership in an effort to reach agreement on a new multi-year collective bargaining contract,” said Alger Delta’s General Manager Tom Harrell in a release. Alger Delta and its union employees have been working without a labor agreement since December 2013, when the most recent agreement expired. Since that time IBEW Local 876 and Alger Delta representatives have met multiple times in an attempt to reach consensus on a new labor pact, but haven’t been able to come to an agreement.

The principal remaining differences between the parties are in the areas of wages, benefits and working conditions. In Michigan, a typical journeyman lineman represented by IBEW Local 876 has a total compensation package, including fringe benefits, that exceeds $100,000 a year. Alger Delta has nine employees represented by IBEW Local 876, including lineworkers and certain non-supervisory office personnel.

“Alger Delta has a qualified operations team in place to handle electric operations until a new agreement is reached between the parties,” said Harrell. “We stand ready to bargain with IBEW in good faith so we can all focus on putting good people back to work serving Alger Delta’s membership.”