Exemplifying the many ways that Labor and Management can work together to create work opportunities for members, Mid-Atlantic LECET worked diligently in the Maryland legislative session of 2013 to pass legislation that will significantly increase man-hours in the natural gas distribution sector.
On May 16th Maryland Governor Martin J. O’Malley has signed into law a bill that would speed up critical natural gas infrastructure replacement projects. The Maryland Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement Program (STRIDE) reduces costs to utility customers while accelerating upgrades to natural gas facilities. The STRIDE program provides funding for gas pipeline upgrades through a small surcharge, approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission. STRIDE will set a $2 per month cap on the surcharge and directs the PSC to set the rate for commercial and industrial customers.
STRIDE will facilitate the accelerated replacement of hundreds of miles of aging cast iron and steel pipe across the State of Maryland, upgrading both the efficiency and safety of residential and commercial natural gas delivery systems. With LIUNA signatory contractors poised to capture the lion’s share of the work, passing STRIDE will create hundreds of stable, long term, union jobs with benefits for LiUNA members.