Progress reported in early labor talks

There are a lot of issues still to be determined but progress was reported last week in the opening round of contract talks between Luminant and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2078.

“We’ve exchanged proposals,” Ronnie Burrough, Local 2078 business manager, said. “ They ’ve g iven us one and we’ve g iven t hem one.”

Burrough said the two sides are “close to agreement” on non-economic issues in a new pact and negotiators are about to begin work on economic issues.

NEXT SESSION— Burrough said the next bargaining session is set for Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The first four-day series of talks ended Friday.

Contracts will affect 245 IBEW employees, 65 at Sandow Power Plant Units 4 and 5 and an additional 180 at Luminant’s Three Oaks Mine.

Luminant became the Rockdale area’s largest industrial employer when Alcoa closed its Rockdale Operations smelter in 2008.

CONTRACTS —</ actually two contracts between the power company and IBEW expiring this fall.

Burrough said a contract covering Sandow Power Plant Units 4 and 5 will expire Oct. 25 and a contract covering the Three Oaks Mine will expire Nov. 15.

Both are three-year contracts and were negotiated in 2007.

That’s the same year Luminant took over the Three Oaks Mine from Alcoa.

Unit 5 came on-line last August to replace Alcoa’s half-centuryold Sandow Power Plants Units 1, 2 and 3 which were dismantled.

Earlier this year Alcoa sued Luminant over issues that included the way Luminant operated the mine.

Luminant won that civil suit in 20th District Court of Milam County and was awarded $10 million in damages.

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