New 5-Year Deal Ratified at Black Bear Hydro

July 12, 2013 - IBEW Local 1837 members at Black Bear Hydro Partners, LLC have approved a new 5-year contract that includes wage increases in each year alongside a gradually-increasing cap on the medical insurance contribution rate for employees. The ratification vote took place at the company’s headquarters in Milford, Maine.

The agreement also includes an increase in the Company’s 401(k) contribution, and an increase in the annual boot allowance and the addition of an annual allowance toward a work Carhartt jacket or work bibs.

“I’m pleased that our members at Black Bear Hydro have approved this agreement,” said IBEW Local 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers. “While it’s difficult to predict where health care costs will go in the future, we believe this agreement gives them some decent pay increases and security around their health insurance contributions over the next five years.”

The Union members at Black Bear Hydro operate hydroelectric dams in the following locations: Ellsworth, Milford, Orono, Stillwater, Medway and Howland. Together, the dams produce about 36 megawatts of electricity. Two new plants are scheduled to begin operations later this year.

“I want to thank Gary Crane for his contributions as he represented his fellow Union members at the table,” Rogers continued. “He was a great asset with his prior negotiating experience.”

Black Bear Hydro Partners, LLC purchased the dams from PPL in 2009 and continued to honor the existing union contracts. The company is a subsidiary of Boston-based ArcLight Capital Partners, which has a stake in energy generation, transmission and infrastructure throughout the United States and Europe. Prior to PPL, the dams were owned by Bangor Hydro and many of the current workers are longtime union members who have been employed by all three companies.