Baker in no rush on Grid bill

Looking for compromise to end lockout

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER indicated on Monday that he doesn’t plan to immediately sign a bill extending the unemployment benefits of locked-out workers.

As expected, the Legislature completed a few procedural matters on the bill on Monday and sent it to the governor’s desk. Baker has indicated he would sign the bill into law to prevent hardship on 1,250 locked-out employees of National Grid, who are about to see their unemployment benefits run out next month. But his spokesman, Brendan Moss, indicated the governor may wait to see how negotiations between Grid and its workers progress this week.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is grateful for the Legislature acting quickly and will now carefully review the legislation while looking forward to both sides reaching a compromise to end the lockout this week,” Moss said in a statement.

In a joint statement on Friday, Grid and the two steelworker locals indicated they were making progress and hoped to come to an agreement by Friday. The leaders of the locals issued their own statement urging the governor to sign the bill on Monday.

“This legislation offers a vital economic lifeline and equal bargaining platform while National Grid continues to use the threat of economic ruin and loss of health insurance as a bargaining chip,” the union leaders said. “It would be especially meaningful for final legislation to be enacted and signed on Monday before the holiday.”