Pacific Power, union reach agreement

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PORTLAND - Pacific Power and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 659 have reached an agreement on a five-year contract, officials said.

Members of the union, which represents about 490 Pacific Power employees, throughout northern California and Oregon, approved the contract in a vote Friday. Votes on a tentative labor agreement with the union that represents workers in Walla Walla is expected to take place Wednesday.

Local 659 represents employees who largely work in operations positions in northern California and Oregon, including Medford, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Lakeview, Roseburg, Cottage Grove, Corvallis and Albany. Most of the employees are line crews that maintain and restore customer power. Many also work in metering and hydroelectric generation operations and maintenance.

Union leaders have been negotiating with the electric utility since February.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 125, which represents employees in Oregon north of Albany, and in Yakima and Walla Walla, will be next to vote on their proposed agreement.

Specifics of the agreement with Local 659 were not detailed in Pacific Power's announcement. In a statement, Pacific Power President Pat Reiten said the agreement is fair and reasonable for both sides.

The utility operation, part of PacifiCorp, provides electric service to almost 730,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California.

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