WOBURN (CBS) — Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin said gas service has almost been fully restored to hundreds Thursday. Earlier this week, a replacement National Grid worker mistakenly over-pressurized the gas system on Wyman Street, forcing workers to shut off the gas in nearby homes.
By around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, 220 homes had been restored. Galvin explained while there were more than 300 homes on the impacted gas line, about 235 of them are serviced by National Grid. Just over a dozen homes had not been serviced because residents were not home.
The Mayor told WBZ-TV he thought National Grid responded well to the incident but there are still lingering concerns. “It’s great they have their service back on but people still want answers about how something like this could happen.”
“Obviously it’s a troubling incident, unsettling, and you can see why when you have that incident up in Lawrence,” said Galvin, referring to the fatal over-pressurization of gas lines in Merrimack Valley this September.
Woburn resident Frank Dawson, who couldn’t shower while his gas was turned off, said, “I don’t believe it would’ve happened if the regular workers were doing their job.”
About 1,200 union employees with National Grid have been locked out since the summer. They are sparring with the company over healthcare plans, bidding rights, outsourcing jobs and more.
“They want a two-tiered benefit system for new hires, so anyone who comes into the company they don’t want them to have a pension anymore,” said President of USW 12012 John Buonopane.
A spokesperson for National Grid said instead of a pension, new employees would be given 401Ks and the company would match a certain percentage.
Mayor Galvin wants both sides to meet in the middle.
“The workers who are out, they’re very skilled, people want them back to work it gives more of a peace of mind,” he said. “We urge both sides to get back to the table the union, National Grid, get back to the table to get this done because we as residents deserve it.”
The union and National Grid are scheduled to resume negotiations on Friday.