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February 9, 2023
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Robert DeLeo urges National Grid to absolve lockout

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo is looking on National Grid to stop its nearly three-month lockout 1,250 union steel workers to deepen the state’s bench of trained laborers in the wake of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions and winter’s soon presence in New England.

“While using the tragic occurrences in Merrimack Valley so that as winter approaches, public safety demands we have as numerous trained professionals as you possibly can operating our propane transmission and distribution systems,” DeLeo said within a statement. “Therefore, I’m formally asking National Grid to instantly end the lockout. Both National Grid as well as Steelworkers Union should resume their negotiations as soon as possible and negotiate in good faith.”

The utility company locked out 1,250 United Steelworkers June 25 after negotiations to switch the union’s contract with National Grid reached a stalemate. The union says it accessible to work under a long contract nevertheless the company refused.

Dozens of gas explosions in Andover, Lawrence and North Andover yesterday evening, killing a single person, thrust natural gas safety into the spotlight, irrespective of the belief that the company involved was Columbia Gas, not National Grid. Early indications point out the reason for an overpressurized gas line.

Last week, each and every day prior to the explosions ripped open several Merrimack Valley communities and sparked the evacuation of numerous homes, Attorney General Maura Healey called on regulators to check out many alleged safety complaints filed by the locked out workers against fill-in work crews.

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