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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - A labor battle is brewing between a major power company and its unionized workers.

Those workers will head to the ballots Wednesday to vote on Pepco's final contract offer on the bargaining table. Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are urging members to vote against it.

"We're the people that keep the lights on, not management," said IBEW Local 1900 President Jim Griffin said.

The dispute arises over health, welfare and other benefits.

Pepco spokesperson Myra Oppel told 9 News they "don't want a strike, but are prepared for one" with four hundred contractors on standby. Oppel adds customers should not see disruption in service or repairs in the event of a strike.

The scheduled vote this week is a decision on the latest proposal, not a strike. WUSA is told that an additional vote would need to be held on the latter.

The negotiations started in April. The last strike took place in 1985.