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      Xcel employees campaign for more cash and benefits

      On Thursday, International Brotherhood of Electrical Employee Union and Xcel employees held a demonstration to speak out on receiving more money and benefits.

      The campaign for cash was in the parking lot of the Drury Inn on Interstate 40 and Soncy Road.

      Union members said the pay the Xcel workers currently receive isnâ??t enough anymore for the standard of living.

      Robert Melton, an IBEW Local 602, said more than 800 Xcel linemen, service workers, and power plant workers are involved.

      â??We are striving to achieve equality in pay and benefits with the companies in Colorado and Minnesota,â?? Melton said.

      Union employee Mike Andrade said the local Xcel employees received a 2 1/2 percent wage increase last year. He said Xcel employees in Colorado and Minnesota are still paid 15 percent more.

      Union members say these are the employees that are in high risk work environments and working during severe storms, and they deserve more for their work.

      â??We are producing more productivity with less man power, and receiving less for our efforts. Weâ??re here to stand with our brothers and sisters,â?? Melton said.

      Pronews 7 contacted Xcel for comment. Both the company and the IBEW Local 602 union say they are involved in collective bargaining negotiations, and wages is a topic they will discuss.