(03/30/2005)
A strike by Dominion Gas Company workers locally and around the state is pending for April 1.

Workers have been participating in informational pickets.

Union Rep Charlie Rittenhouse says "Frankly, things are not going good," with contract negotiations. "The company has all but ignored our proposals," relating to workers receiving major benefit cuts.

Rittenhouse said they have proposed no improvements, only massive cost saddling. "I don't think anyone doesn't expect to pay more for benefits in light of rapidly rising costs, but not for a less quality plan."

He said the company is using a "full court" press, flooding the public with propaganda saying what a fantastic package they have put together while addressing their needs as a competitive company.

"It's just not true, what is going on here," Rittenhouse said.

"I ask you to consider the company's profit of over 300 million dollars last year and incentive bonuses for Dominion's top executives in the amount of 130%."

Dominion's top exec receives about $8 million for being a CEO.

Rittenhouse has told union members he and the union management do not want a strike, but it appears to be on the horizon.


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