Utility workers say Michigan needs more people to maintain reliability

LANSING, Mich., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) urges Governor Snyder to address utility company staffing levels in his energy policy in order to maintain safe and reliable energy delivery toMichigan customers.

“Our 9,000 Michigan members play a critical role in the delivery of electricity, natural gas, as well as public safety,” said Pat Dillon, President of the Michigan State Utility Workers Council.  “We have a significant graying workforce set to retire within the next five years and comprehensive energy policy needs to address how those workers will be replaced,” Dillon added.

“The loss of knowledge and skill of these workers is a challenge that needs to be addressed to ensure that Michigan has safe and reliable delivery of electricity,” said UWUA Region IV National Representative Jim Harrison.

The UWUA’s call for action comes on the same day that Governor Rick Snyder issued his energy message for the State of Michigan, which was based on the yearlong information gathering process conducted by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

“Other states are addressing system reliability and aging workforce problems through either legislation or regulatory action, looking to avoid workforce shortages and crises in their states.  Michigan needs to do the same,” said Mike Langford, National President, Utility Workers Union of America.

The Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO represents more than 50,000 active members employed in the energy, electric, gas, steam, water, telecommunications, generation, and related professional, technical and service industries. The UWUA was chartered in August 1945 to replace the former Utility Workers Organizing Committee, the CIO union for utility workers. D. Michael Langford is the UWUA national President.