KeySpan staff to block Grid acquisition?

KeySpan HQ

New York, NY, USA — (METERING.COM) — August 9, 2006 – National Grid Plc’s acquisition of US gas and electric utility KeySpan Corp. could be delayed members of utility worker union The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

3, 300 employee members are currently staging a boycott.

The Union has urged the New York state regulator to reject the deal until more information is provided, and undertakings given on the future for KeySpan employees. This would include the guarantee of jobs, extensions to contracts and future pension plans.

According to Don Daley, Business Manager of IBEW Local 1381: “they’re looking to save US$200 million, and they say 10 percent of the workforce will be reduced. The support workers who are usually targeted in these mergers are my people”.

Regardless of the outcome of a KeySpan shareholder vote in mid-August, the acquisition could not be concluded until approval is obtained from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the New York Public Service Commission and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission.

Commenting on IBEW’s request to the regulator, KeySpan spokesman Alberto Bianchetti said: “It’s understandable that the unions would want to be involved in the regulatory process. It’s common in New York”.

KeySpan representative Diana Parisi added: “We continue to negotiate with the union to come up with a plan that benefits all parties”.