⚡ Nearly 400 Atlantic City Electric workers have gone on strike today

⚡ The union points to issues with retirement plans, healthcare, and staffing

⚡ AC Electric says it has contingency plans

Hundreds of Atlantic City Electric workers have gone on strike Sunday after their contracts expired following months of negotiations.

AC Electric is the power company for 560,000 customers in South Jersey, according to its website. The Exelon subsidiary operates in eight counties including Burlington, Ocean, Gloucester, Camden, Salem, Cumberland, Cape May, and Atlantic.

The contract between AC Electric and IBEW Local 210, the union representing nearly 400 of its workers, expired on Nov. 2.

AC Electric said that it bargained "in good faith" and gave a competitive offer to the union. The company revealed the details of its final offer in an updated statement Sunday.

Crews work to restore power in Wildwood (Atlantic City Electric via Facebook)
Crews work to restore power in Wildwood (Atlantic City Electric via Facebook)

"Our employees are compensated fairly. The offer presented included a five-year deal with incremental increases totaling 16-20 percent by the end of the contract term and numerous other benefits. Currently, the average Atlantic City Electric line person earns $177,326 annually, which includes overtime," AC Electric said in a statement.

Zach Story, business manager for Local 210, said on social media that the offer was not competitive and that executives get big bonuses and retirement packages while workers see cuts to benefits and worse working conditions.

And those cuts to benefits are happening as the utility continues to raise rates on customers, Story and Local 210 President Jack McGuire said in a joint statement on behalf of the union.

"We pay those same bills. All this while Atlantic City Electric has enjoyed massive profits. They raise their rates and raise your bill all while dismantling our retirement, diminishing our healthcare, cutting back our workforce to squeeze every dollar they can out of us," Story and McGuire said.

Will the AC Electric strike impact service?

AC Electric claims that service will not be affected even during emergency situations despite the strike.

AC Electric workers restore power in December 2020 (Atlantic City Electric via Facebook)
AC Electric workers restore power in December 2020 (Atlantic City Electric via Facebook)

"We have contingency plans and highly qualified staff in place to ensure our customers’ electric service is not affected," the utility company said.

The staff includes local contractors for daily work including projects to improve reliability and to restore power in case of emergencies such as storms or similar events, spokesperson Candice Womer said.

"Our contractors operate under the same company rules and regulations and adhere to the same safety guidelines as our internal line workers," Womer said.

Other workers from other subsidiaries of Exelon can also be brought in as needed, she said.

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