Wrangell contract talks end, strike may resume

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers representative Julius Matthew walked the picket line with Wrangell municipal workers Lorne Cook, Dwight Yancey and Andrew Scambler before the strike ended. (Photo courtesy IBEW)

Wrangell officials have pulled out of contact talks with the union representing municipal workers.

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Interim Borough Manager Carol Rushmore posted a letter on the municipal website Wednesday evening stating she had decided to not accept the union’s most recent proposal.

Rushmore added that the borough would not make any counteroffers to International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members.

That could lead them to go back on strike.

24 utility and other workers went on strike June 22nd after the union and municipality rejected each other’s final contract offers.

Another 35 management and non-union employees remained on the job.

Officials from the borough and the union resumed negotiations June 29th.

Union officials could not be reached immediately for comment on Rushmore’s decision.

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Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau
Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.