Sussex Co. Water Treatment Employees Vote to Unionize - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex Co. Water Treatment Employees Vote to Unionize

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

GEORGETOWN, Del. - It's a first for Sussex County government workers. By a vote of 49 to 15, employees in the county's water treatment plants, decided they would unionize. 

In a vote on Sept. 2, employees from the four county facilities voted to join the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

WBOC spoke with staff-members who didn't want to give their names, out of "fear of retaliation." Their concerns centered on a "lack of representation" and the tightening of "incentives and benefits." 

"This didn't happen overnight," one worker told WBOC. "You can only take so much."

Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett said that the decision was upsetting, but could be a turning point. 

"Their roles are super critical to that of the residents of the county," he said. "And so for me - has that message always been portrayed to the employees? Perhaps not. And I think that - right here - there's a lesson that's learned. And the lesson that we can learn is that we need much better communication to our staff and the employees of the county." 

As of now, no official contract has been agreed on with the union. The employees work at four facilities across the county. 

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