Hundreds of energy utility workers in South Jersey are officially on strike.
Employees of Atlantic City Electric represented by International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) Local 210 stopped working at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning after ongoing contract negotiations failed to produce a new deal between the union and A.C. Electric management.
"The contract between Atlantic City Electric and IBEW Local 210 expired on November 2, when we presented our best and final offer," A.C. Electric said in a statement. "We feel confident the company bargained in good faith and provided a competitive offer that is fair for employees and customers."
The contract between A.C. Electric workers and the utility's management expired on Thursday, at which point the company said it had offered employees a deal that included a 16-20 percent salary increase over the course of five years, as well as other benefits. The average A.C. Electric line worker earns $177,326 per year, according to the company's statement.
Union officials said the utility company's offer was not sufficient enough, thus necessitating the strike. IBEW Local 210 represents nearly 400 electric utility workers in a variety of job positions.
"At this time, the Union is on strike and we remain open to bringing both parties together to reach an agreement," the statement from A.C. Electric said.
The energy utility, which serves 560,000 customers across South Jersey, said that it had a contingency plan to ensure that none of those customers would lose power, 6 ABC