In a split vote, members of IBEW Local 1238 voted 349-321 to accept the latest contract offer from Delmarva Power, according to the union's website. However, several requests for a recount on the vote have left it unclear as to whether the vote effectively ended the strike that has dragged on for a week and a half.


In a split vote, members of IBEW Local 1238 voted 349-321 Tuesday, June 29 to accept the latest contract offer from Delmarva Power, according to the union's website.

However, there have been several requests for a recount on the vote, the site said.

Regardless, union workers are schedued to reurn to work at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 30 Delmarva Power spokesman Bill Yingling said.

After working through the weekend, union and company officials had reached a tentative agreement, leading up to the close vote  at UAW 1183 on the 600 block of Old Baltimore Pike in suburban Newark.
 
Wilmington Local 1238 had gone on strike June 18 against Delmarva Power and Conectiv Energy, protesting what they said were management’s proposals for big cuts to the utilities’ pension plans and other benefits.

Details of the deal were not released by either side.

There are 760 members of Local 1238, which is part of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers based in Washington, D.C.

Delmarva Power and Conectiv, both owned by Pepco Holdings Inc., had proposed cuts to pension benefits for surviving spouses and the elimination of retiree health benefits for new hires, union officials said.

Indeed, Delmarva Power officials said the primary issues in dispute in the negotiations with Local 1238 involve pension benefits, where the changes proposed by the company do not impact the majority of existing union members.

Local 1238 Business Manager Paul Simon did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday afternoon. Delmarva Power spokeswoman Bridget Shelton released a press release that included a statement from Delmarva Power Region President Gary Stockbridge.

“We appreciate the long hours, hard work and determination that negotiators on both sides invested in this process and we're pleased to have our Union workforce return to the job,” Stockbridge said. “This is a fair and responsible contract that balances the interests of customers, employees and shareholders.”

Delmarva Power had maintained electric and natural gas service for customers during the strike by using non-union employees and contractors.