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December 03, 2023

Atlantic City Electric workers reach tentative labor agreement amid month-long strike

Members of IBEW Local 210 walked off the job on Nov. 5 after talks with the Jersey Shore energy utility company failed to produce a new contract

Hundreds of South Jersey energy utility workers are one step closer to returning to work after a month-long strike.

Atlantic City Electric, an energy provider that serves over 560,000 customers across South Jersey, reached a tentative labor agreement with employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 210 on Friday, both entities confirmed in separate statements.

More than 400 Atlantic City Electric workers have been on strike since Nov. 5, when negotiations with the union and the utility company’s management failed to produce a new contract to replace the one that expired on Nov. 2. The newly-reached agreement includes increases in pay, paid vacation and holiday time and new work-from-home flexibility for certain employees, Atlantic City Electric officials said.

Members of IBEW will meet on Tuesday to officially vote on whether or not to ratify the new proposed contract, union officials said.

Late Friday evening IBEW local union 210 and Atlantic City Electric reached a tentative agreement,” IBEW leadership said in a statement released on Sunday. “A ratification vote shall take place Tuesday. The union is eager to get back to work, to once again provide the quality electric service the rate payers of South Jersey deserve.”

In the days prior to the strike, Atlantic City Electric said it had offered employees a final deal that included a 16-20 percent salary increase over the course of five years, as well as other improved employment benefits. The financial terms of the newly-agreed upon deal were not initially disclosed. Neither Atlantic City Electric nor IBEW 210 immediately responded to requests for more details.

The average A.C. Electric line worker earns $177,326 per year, according to a statement issued by the utility company when the strike began in early November.

The strike has not had any substantial impact on energy service for Atlantic City Electric’s customers, the utility company said.

Atlantic City Electric indicated when the strike first began in November that it had a contingency plan in place to ensure that service would not be interrupted during the work stoppage.To avoid any such service interruptions, Atlantic City Electric hired an outside workforce to handle calls from customers while IBEW members were on strike, the company confirmed to the Press of Atlantic City on Sunday. 

Atlantic City Electric employees represented by IBEW Local 210 are set to return to work on Wednesday, assuming all goes according to expectations at Tuesday’s ratification vote.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed a statement regarding the quality of work performed during the strike to Atlantic City Electric officials. The story has been updated to correct this error.