We have some unfortunate news to report. Recently one of our members, a field collector at National Grid in Buffalo and a member of IBEW Local 97, was assaulted while performing the course of her duties. After our member turned off service for a lack of payment, the customer followed her to her vehicle and assaulted her. Police were called and the woman was arrested and charged with a felony under the new Utility Worker Assault law. We are happy to report that although shaken up, our member has recovered, is doing fine and is back at work.
Situations like this are the driving reason why the IBEW Utility Labor Council of NYS got behind and worked to pass the Utility Worker Assault Bill. This bill was signed by Governor Cuomo this year. It is vital that all utility employees be mindful of their surroundings while performing their duties out in the field because situations like this will arise again. It is also important that if a utility employee is assaulted, you remind the local responding officers of the new law. This person was only charged with a felony after Local 97 pursued the case and informed the police that utility employees are now a protected group under state law. While we are sad to report this news, we are glad that an arrest was made and our sister is back to work. Many thanks to all the lawmakers and decision makers who supported us in making this bill a law, your efforts truly made a difference.