In response to numerous inquiries recently received, Mayor Gary Christenson provided an update on the National Grid lock out.
“As a company with a large presence in our City, we’ve always had a good relationship with National Grid. We also have been and will continue to be supportive of the workers who perform important and often dangerous work every day. It is frustrating to see this situation continue,” said Mayor Christenson.
National Grid workers have been locked out since June 25th as a result of negotiations that failed to end in an agreement between labor and management. As the lockout continues, Malden as well as surrounding communities have begun to worry about the impact on continuing to get work done timely and safely.
“We have met personally with both the Union leadership and National Grid President Marcy Reed,” said Mayor Christenson. “We have offered recommendations that we think would allow the union members to go back to work while the parties continue to negotiate in good faith. We believe negotiations would be more successful if conducted while the locked out employees continue to work. The longer this goes on under the current circumstances, the more difficult it will be to reach a resolution.”
Many communities have ceased issuing permits during the lockout. Mayor Christenson explained that permits in Malden are issued by the Public Works Department and that he has instructed Director Bob Knox to issue permits for only necessary emergency work. "While I understand the company has implemented a work continuation plan, I would need to better and fully understand the steps taken to ensure that the plan does not represent any risk to our community. Replacing long tenured and experienced workers doing this type of work poses a potential risk to public safety and is not something we take lightly. The City owes it to our residents to exercise caution and diligence in reviewing any plan in place when work in the public way is involved.”
Mayor Christenson added that he will continue to work with both parties to encourage a resolution.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson