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Pepco Workers To Vote On Contract Wednesday

Strike or lock out a possibility

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Pepco has submitted their last contract offer to union employees, and is prepared to hire contractors in the event of a strike.
Markette Smith
Pepco has submitted their last contract offer to union employees, and is prepared to hire contractors in the event of a strike.

Pepco's union workers are scheduled to vote this week on whether to approve a new contract or go on strike.

After five months of negotiations, the utility company is calling it their "last, best and final offer." Members of the Electrical Workers union say they are unsatisfied with proposed changes to health benefits and compensation, among other things.

In a statement, the negotiation committee said many of their counter offers have gone unaddressed.

Two full weeks of negotiations were halted because of the Derecho storm, when an all-hands-on-deck effort was enacted to restore power to millions in the region. The union's president said in a phone call he's focusing all of his efforts on meeting tonight with members to discuss their options.

They'll vote on Wednesday. If the latest offer is rejected workers could go on strike, or Pepco could stage a lock out.

Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel says the lockout "is not something we are considering." But she said the company can nonetheless summon more than 400 contractors if necessary.

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