Thursday, August 11, 2005

DWP workers threaten strike

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers are threatening to strike over the recent row regarding their double-digit pay increases.

Raising the stakes in the debate over a five-year deal that would give 8,000 DWP workers and managers pay hikes as high as 30 percent, the union leader who negotiated the deal threatened to call a strike if the City Council tries to block formal approval of the contract.

Union chief Brian D'Arcy said the Department of Water and Power employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, are willing to give the mayor and a new DWP board time to understand the issues, but that they don't have unlimited patience.

"It's time for the City Council to look at this as a real emergency now to avoid one later," said D'Arcy, the local's business manager. "We have a deadline of Oct. 1 that we're looking at or there could be a work stoppage."