PLYMOUTH — Representatives of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1837 worked with a federal mediator Friday to resolve a strike that began Monday.

There was no immediate breakthrough, but the mediator is to be in contact with both sides early next week to continue negotiations.

The union represents 83 employees, including lineman who fix power poles and electrical wires and respond during power outages. They were working under a contract that expired April 30.

The cooperative serves 84,000 customers statewide.

Negotiations on a new contract broke down over pension plan issues.

The company said it would offer union workers the same pension and 401k benefits offered to non-union employees, including management, but it wanted to reserve the right to make changes to these plans if necessary.

Union representatives said such changes should only be made through negotiations.

Union and company representatives met nearly 20 times before the contract expired.

The company has activated a contingency plan to deal with the strike, including providing coverage for power outages through contract crews.

“Depending on the duration of the strike, there may be some delay in the performance of service work,” the company said. “If you have questions about an open service order, you can call NHEC Member Solutions at 1-800-698-2007.”


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