In all his years at Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., Marvin Austin never thought he needed a union.
Until he did.
Austin, who has worked as a pipeline mechanic for 28 years, long felt that the Baltimore utility, one of the oldest in the country and with a reputation for being a good place to work, was one big family. Then energy giant Exelon acquired BGE in 2012.
"That family togetherness we had was beginning to separate, and you could see the change," said Austin, 53, of Rosedale. "It was all about business."
He called the only people he thought could help: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Union membership has been...