We do the challenging work providing your power – and we deserve a decent contract.

That’s the message being sent by members of Portland, Ore., Local 125 who began holding informational pickets outside employer Pacific Power’s company headquarters March 17.

The workers began bargaining for a new contract last Sept. 30 with PacifiCorp, Pacific Power’s parent company. The local represents 316 Pacific Power employees, including linemen,  service coordinators, meter readers, substation wiremen and more.

After tough rounds of bargaining, the two parties sought assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service early this year. PacifiCorp put forth its most recent offer March 4, which workers say offers lower wages and benefits compared to other energy companies in the region. 

“We’re here today because we’re committed to providing safe, reliable power for our customers – and sometimes that means working 40 feet in the air on a utility pole in the middle of a snow storm,” said Local 125 Business Manager Travis Eri. “We take pride in our work and love serving our communities.  But when the offer falls below comparable rates for our area, it puts our experienced workers in a difficult position.”

PacifiCorp operates as Pacific Power in California, Oregon and Washington, and as Rocky Mountain Power in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. The company earned nearly $3.5 billion in gross profits during 2014. PacifiCorp provides power to 1.8 million customers, according to its company website. 

For more information, visit Local 125’s Facebook page.