July 10, 2013

CMP's Augusta call center workers opt to unionize

By Paul Koenig pkoenig@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A majority of the customer service workers at Central Maine Power Company's Augusta call center voted to unionize last month, according to the company.

The 42 full-time employees at the call center can join the more than 560 other CMP employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1837, according to John Carroll, CMP's spokesman.

The Augusta-based electric utility company has 925 total employees, according to Carroll.

Matthew Beck, an organizer for the union, said he anticipates all 42 employees will join the union.

Union representatives will begin negotiations with company officials as soon a possible, Beck said.

Carroll said he expects the negotiations will take place within the next few months.

A news release from the union about the announcement said the Augusta call center employees had voiced complaints about unfair personnel policies.

Carroll declined to comment on the statement because he said it's a personnel issue.

The National Labor Relations Board certified IBEW to represent the employees on June 18, following a 23–19 vote earlier in the month to join the union, according to Beck.

A 2005 attempt by the Augusta customer service representatives to unionize fell a few votes short, Beck said.

He said the union has always had a good relationship with CMP and expects that to continue.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

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