Xcel workers march on downtown Denver headquarters for better pay


As union workers for Xcel Energy marched on its downtown Denver headquarters Friday, their CEO’s salary was used as bargaining chip.

The company and its employees are locked in a union contract negotiations that IBEW Local 111 Xcel Energy Employees says will hurt the company’s 3,783 employees in Colorado, Colorado Politics told you Friday.

“Xcel is taking things down a very dangerous path for many of our members reaching retirement age that live with serious, chronic medical issues,” IBEW Local 111 Business Manager Eppie Martinez said in a statement. “Xcel is proposing stripping retiree health coverage away from workers and their loved who were promised those benefits for decades at a time when CEO Ben Fowke and VP Marvin McDaniels are padding their retirement funds and keeping their retiree health coverage.”

Based in Minneapolis, Fowke earned $18.5 million in total compensation last year, while delivering a 17.1 percent investor return, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

In 2014, Business Insider listed Xcel as the 30th best employer in the country, ahead of such companies as St. Jude Medical Center, Campbell Soup and ConocoPhillips.

The website said that after five years, Xcel’s median pay is about $80,000, which is higher than utility industry peers.

The lunchtime rally drew dozens of workers with their families.

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