Tentative agreement reached between National Grid, gas workers

Boston Statehouse

The prolonged contract dispute and lockout that has riled the natural gas industry and labor and political circles since June could be coming to an end.

National Grid and United Steelworkers Locals 12003 and 12012-04 announced at about 10:35 p.m. Wednesday that they have reached a tentative agreement to replace the collective bargaining agreements that expired June 24, 2018.

“The tentative agreement covers approximately 1,250 employees who work in gas operations and other support lines of business across eastern Massachusetts,” according to the unsigned joint statement released by National Grid.

The unions will present the agreement terms of the agreement to members for ratification “on or before” Monday, Jan. 7, according to the statement, which said details “will not be shared before both unions have had an opportunity to vote.”

Health care and pension benefits were sticking points between the company and the union before and during the lockout.

The tentative agreement comes two days after Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation extending unemployment benefits for locked out workers. The locked out National Grid workers are due to exhaust their initial benefits in mid-January.

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