Membership Update August 5, 2020


The members of USW Local 12160 provide an essential service for our community.  We are there for our community and customers even in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

Our members are on the frontlines performing vital work for our community every day. We enter homes and offices not knowing if the people we serve may be transmitting covid-19.  On a daily basis we interact with customers and contractors who are not wearing masks or observing basic safety protocols.  We do essential work which has the potential to sacrifice our health and lives.

Water is an essential public service and with more people confined to home we’ve seen an increase in demand and usage from residential customers.  Yet RWA management has chosen this moment to scale back our hours, reducing public service.

Any cut to public service potentially impacts the health and safety of our community.  Reduced hours for customer service representatives, for example, may make it more difficult and time-consuming for the public to report problems ranging from discolored water to back-ups which produce floods.

RWA management imposed these cuts after our union rejected demands to set aside our contract and go without negotiated pay increases.  Management made these demands even while padding their own pension payments and adding a number of highly-compensated management positions.

Cuts to employee hours harm public service and cannot be justified by the RWA’s financial situation or the state of the business.  While there may be legitimate concerns about the future impact of covid on our community, RWA leaders have reported at recent Board meetings that the company is weathering the storm.

Management’s decisions on how to deploy our work force have led to cutbacks and increased customer complaints. At a time when we should all be focused on the needs of our community, management is waging war on its own workforce. The union lives up to its contractual obligations and management should do the same.

We are committed to the RWA’s mission of providing the best possible service for our community. Management should be working with the union to scale up our collective efforts in support of our customers, not looking to inflict cuts in vital services.