Utility Workforce

Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP represents the interests of unions whose members work in the electric, gas and water industries before state utility commissions throughout the nation. The interests of these workers are directly implicated by utility mergers, restructuring proceedings and rate change filings. We advocate for the protection of employee interests and, by direct extension, the interests of the consumers they serve.

The issues that arise in this representation typically involve ensuring the adequacy of staffing levels and related maintenance practices. Our efforts have informed state commissions of the linkages among utility rates, employee protections and the continued receipt by customers of safe and high quality services. We have fought utility employee layoffs, and have successfully challenged proposed job reductions on the ground that they pose undue service risks.

The nature of this work can vary with industry changes. Well‑documented concerns have been raised that the demographics of the aging workforce may result in a national shortage of skilled utility workers. Our firm has assisted unions in raising “graying workforce” issues before state commissions, urging them to ensure that regulated utilities are engaging in needed workforce planning activities.

Utility workers have legal needs that go beyond collective bargaining negotiations and employee grievance procedures. Unprecedented changes in the utility industry during the past two decades have had significant impacts on the working men and women who provide customers with safe and reliable utility services. Our firm is proud to represent worker interests in utility regulatory proceedings, and to help to ensure that essential utility services are provided to customers in a safe and reliable manner.