BECKLEY, W.Va. – Several DOH maintenance workers were part of an informational picket Thursday evening in Beckley. Members of UE Local 170 said they are being forced to work overtime in non-emergency situations.
The workers set up their picket line near the entrance of the DOH garage on Route 19. They claim there’s threat of disciplinary action for those workers who won’t work overtime.
DOH spokesman Brent Walker said overtime was mandatory earlier this year during the DOH’s pothole blitz but not now.
“We really aren’t making it mandatory that they work overtime,” he said. “It would certainly help our efforts from time to time to do some extra work.”
It takes up to 21 members to make a crew and Walker said at times only 7 workers volunteered for overtime.
“Some folks I think were a little bent out of shape over what they felt like was being made in a mandatory kind of way so they did what was certainly their prerogative and went to their union,” he said.
Walker said the DOH is now into its contract paving season and the overtime situation for the most part is over.
“We’re moving forward without this mandatory (overtime). It’s still in our policy but we’re not making any road repairs this summer mandatory,” he said.