At DTE Energy, we know that when our workforce feels that they are safe, treated fairly, engaged in rewarding work and valued for their contributions, we are able to live our company’s purpose and serve, lead and transform with our energy.  We are committed to providing all employees with competitive wages and benefits, safe working conditions and growth and development opportunities in order to drive successful business outcomes and help build a strong, healthy middle class in Michigan and in the cities and states across the country where we do business.  

Approximately half of our workforce is represented by unions. DTE’s Labor Relations department partners with a cross section of business unit and union leadership to build a thriving culture, proactively address changing business conditions, resolve employee issues, and support collective bargaining negotiations. Additionally, we operate in compliance with the policies and regulations established by the National Labor Relations Board, the statutes of the National Labor Relations Act and the guidance of the federal Department of Labor. 

DTE’s union employees may utilize multiple resources to address issues and concerns including their leader, our company’s Labor Management Committee (LMC), DTE’s Ethics and Compliance office, or the grievance process. DTE Energy and its unions jointly manage a grievance procedure which is defined by the collective bargaining agreements for represented employees. DTE Energy also manages a dispute resolution process for non-represented employees. 

Members of DTE’s LMC, comprised of union leadership and company senior leaders, meet regularly to share opportunities for to improve employee safety, operations, customer service and employee engagement – and then work together to develop and implement solutions. These types of meetings occur at all levels of leadership, and open and inclusive communication is key to our successful partnership. 

In 2020, DTE, along with the rest of the world, entered uncharted territory as we navigated our way through a global pandemic. Early on, DTE resolved that the health and safety of our employees would be the company’s top priority. Company and union leaders came together to discuss what processes/protocols were being implemented, such as mask usage, COVID-19 testing and screening protocols. Additionally, we changed LMC meetings and grievance hearings to a virtual format. Throughout the pandemic, the company recognized union leaders for their partnership and support in enterprise-wide, executive and union meetings and in company communications. Our constructive union-management partnership and collaboration resulted in transparent, aligned and honest communications that supported employee safety during the global pandemic. 

In 2021, DTE continued to maintain positive relationships with our unions as we moved into new phases of the pandemic. As vaccines became available, our union leaders encouraged their members to get vaccinated. They participated in panel discussions with our executives and medical professionals as well as messaging to their membership through their normal channels of communications, such as newsletters and automated calls. This partnership helped the company achieve strongvoluntary vaccination rates amongst its employees. 

Also in 2021, Labor Relations successfully completed two major contract negotiations, including our contract with the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), Local 223, our company’s largest union.  DTE was pleased to have the chance to work constructively with Juanita Ray, the president of UWUA, Local 223.   Ms. Ray sits on the national executive board of UWUA and is a former board member of Power Generation’s executive board, and she was the first African American woman to hold each of those titles.