Union members serving more than 570,000 natural gas customers in central and southeast Indiana announced Thursday they have rejected a new three-year contract.
"We have worked in good faith with union leadership for many months and provided employees more than two weeks to vote the contract," Vectren Vice President of Utility Operations Bill Doty said. "It is disappointing that many long-time employees have rejected the contract proposal that would have extended secure jobs and offered highly competitive wages and benefits."
The package reportedly included: Guaranteed annual wage increases; increased pension contributions; health care coverage exceeding national averages; and provisions designed to further enhance safety and emergency response.
Vectren and union leadership agreed to initiate negotiations in October in advance of the Dec. 1, 2011, contract expiration.
The deadline was extended for two weeks to allow time for the approximately 270 union members to vote on the proposal.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1393 and United Steelworkers Locals 12213 and 7441 employee-members help deliver natural gas to customers in Vectren's North service territory.