A small group of gas workers protested a National Grid worksite on Main Street in Reading on Wednesday afternoon. National Grid workers have been locked out by the company since June 25 when contract negotiations between Steel unions Local 12003 and 12012 and the utility broke down over a number of issues including changes to health care plans and pensions for new hires.
Representatives of the two unions met with the Select Board on June 31, asking the board to place a moratorium on all non-emergency work in town until the dispute can be settled. Union representatives cited safety concerns with replacement workers as the reason for any action the board might take. National Grid is using a mixture of contractors and management employees to perform work on gas systems during the lockout. The Select Board plans to discuss the issue at its August 21 meeting.