SEMCO strike ends after two weeks

Published 1:44 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – It was back to work Monday for union workers at SEMCO Energy Gas Company after two weeks of being on strike.
Workers of the United Steelworkers Local 16201 District 2 in Niles, Three Rivers and Holland went on strike after working almost five months without a contract.
"After eight plus hours of negotiation, the union and the company had reached a tentative agreement. We as a union felt that the legal protection that we were looking for was found," union president Steve Mudd said.
Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for SEMCO Tim Lubbers said the company is just glad it's over.
"We're glad to have everyone back and that the work stoppage was resolved," Lubbers said. He added that SEMCO would like to thank its customers for their patience and understanding during the strike.
A total of about 45 SEMCO employees went on strike and around 20 employees camped out in front of the SEMCO Energy building in Niles on Nov. 12.
Union workers tried to negotiate a fare agreement for both sides before the strike and Mudd said the workers had granted SEMCO three extensions to the contract, but were unable to come up with a resolution. According to Mudd, the previous contracts allowed SEMCO to make chances in health-care benefits. With the new agreement, the union now has a say in whether changes should be made.
"We would like to thank all of the area people for their support through this rough time," Mudd added.