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Why We Are Here

We developed the WeareFermitoo.com website to share the stories of Fermi 2 workers who recently organized and are fighting for social and economic justice. These workers are new members of the Local 223 Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and were recognized by a landmark decision by the National Labor Relations Board more than a year ago as dual employees of The Detroit Edison Company (a subsidiary of DTE Energy) and The Bartech Group. We are in the midst of negotiating our first collective bargaining agreement and we appreciate you listening to our story!

We care deeply about our jobs and our role in ensuring that Fermi 2 is operated at the highest standards in the industry for the benefit of our customers and the communities in which we live. All we are seeking is dignity, respect and good faith bargaining. We believe that the work we do should be rewarded with a rate of pay that is equal to a good American standard of living.


Our Stories

Mary Smith Goes from Sitting Duck to Union Leader to Fight Injustice

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Mary Smith has worked as an Office Specialist in the Radiation Department since May 2008. She was originally hired to handle the demands of Overtime Canvassing, Electronic Survey upkeep, filing and vaulting of records for the RP Office. Her job has since expanded to include FMS (Fatigue Management System) Department Administrator, payroll assistance, Travel Assistant and many of these similar duties for the Chemistry department as well. Prior to working at Fermi, Mary was a Co-owner and certified Chief Instructor at DiCarlo Choi Kwang Do in the Dearborn and Taylor areas. Her last administrative role before that was at Complete Packaging Inc., where she was salaried, received 100% health care coverage through HAP, at no additional cost, and more vacation time per year.

Life took a hard turn for Mary in May of 2006, when her children lost their father, leaving her to raise her now 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son.

Mary Smith Union Leader

"I decided to leave Complete Packaging after Josh died. I knew it was a risk but I could not imagine not supporting my children over the summer as they mourned the loss of their father."



Our Stories

Hi, my name is Lori Davis, a Detroit Edison/Bartech Employee. This is my story.

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Until March of 2011 I worked at Fermi 1, that little unknown area across from the TAC, and now I am currently working in our Site Security Department in the Inprocessing/Badging/Access section. I am writing this to share some of my thoughts on the continuing process for our union recognition here at Fermi, and to be treated fairly amongst my fellow co-workers, supervisors, and friends who just happen to be DTE employees.

I am a married person with a husband on medical disability. He receives social security disability benefits due to a previous work related injury. I have experienced the same financial hardships that other Detroit Edison/Bartech individuals have experienced or, just about every person you talk with in our community.

My husband’s social security benefits have increased slightly each year. These increases are just cost of living increases and nothing more. I have not received any pay increase since 2008. Cost of living has risen drastically since then for everyone, but I am still trying to survive on a 2008 income and it is not working very well. x



Penny Watkins, Administrative Assistant for the Training Department, has worked at the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant for three and half years. She is a single mother with four children who cannot afford the healthcare insurance offered by Bartech Group. Her children are 3, 3, 7 and 11.Penny took a cut in pay to go work at Detroit Edison (a subsidiary of DTE Energy) but enjoyed the short commute and earlier working hours because she can spend more time with her kids. Penny has an associate’s degree and is working on her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Siena Heights. She pays for it on her own since neither Detroit Edison nor Bartech offers any educational benefits and has gotten some financial aid. She takes one or two classes each semester.

We Are Fermi TOO

When Penny applied for the job one of her first questions was how much did the insurance cost since she was always responsible for providing insurance for the family. Bartech pressured her to make a decision and stalled in giving her the information about the insurance costs until she had agreed to be an employee. At her former job at Lazy Boy as a dealer service representative, she paid $30 a week for healthcare, which she felt was reasonable.

“I can’t afford the insurance offered since it is nearly $1,000 a month and more than half of my net pay,” said Penny. “Fortunately since I have four kids, we qualify for Medicaid. Even the state knows that the costs are not affordable.”



Michele Jones of Monroe has worked as an Office Specialist and Nuclear Records Clerk at Fermi 2 for 12 years. In her position, she inputs and processes engineering documentation, design packages and procedures, radiation protection documentation, work permits and training records for the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant. She also retrieves records back to before Fermi 1 when requested. She was hired in as a document scanner and then was promoted to handle data input. Prior to her position at Fermi 2, Michele worked at Monroe County Community College as a library reference assistant where she made minimum wage.

Michele’s 71-year-old mom lives with her and has a heart condition, is partially paralyzed and diabetic. Her Mom is on Medicaid, but has hefty co-pays on her medications that she can’t afford so Michele helps to pay for them.


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