Consumers Energy, Union Reach Historic Agreement
LABOR TAKING THE LEAD ON TRAINING INITIATIVE FOR EMPLOYEES
JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 3, 2013
JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The Utility Workers Union of
America (UWUA) has announced a new five-year labor agreement with Consumers
Energy under which the union will assume a leading role in training employees
at Michigan's largest electric and gas utility.
Under the agreement, union-led training will expand to cover skills
development for employees working in natural gas and electric service, power
generation and meter reading. Employees participating in the initial wave of
training will include more than 100 entry-level workers hired to support
Consumers Energy's enhanced gas system upgrade and replacement program. The
training will expand to other positions over the next five years.
"We're re-creating the model for how unions and management work together to
develop and train employees, taking a much different approach than you'll see
at most utilities," said Steve VanSlooten, executive vice president of the
UWUA. "Our goal through this partnership is to set the standard of excellence
for training utility employees so they have the skills necessary to provide
the best possible service to customers."
Pat Dillon, president of the Michigan State Utility Workers Council, said the
agreement reflects the principles of Labor Day – leveraging the experience,
energy and commitment of the union to train and deploy the most highly skilled
and safest workers in the industry.
"This agreement builds on the strong partnership we have had with Consumers
Energy to improve the skill level of employees by shifting significant new
responsibilities for training to the union," Dillon said.
"This is a game changer in how we train our employees," said Dan Malone,
Senior Vice President of Distribution and Customer Operations for Consumers
Energy. "It's a precedent-setting approach to workforce development under
which our union and our company's management will work together to ensure our
organized employees are prepared to provide safe, affordable and reliable
service to Consumers Energy's three million customers in Michigan well into
"By providing the best environment for learning and skills training for
employees, the union will significantly strengthen our commitment to provide
excellent and safe service to customers," Malone said.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of
CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million
of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information regarding Consumers Energy, visit us at:
or join us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan
SOURCE Consumers Energy
Contact: Brian Wheeler, 517/788-2394
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