Union workers reject new contract at nuclear power plant

Members of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 voted against Entergy (NYSE: ETR)’s proposed labor contract on June 20 for workers at the 688 MW Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Massachusetts.

Just one day prior, Entergy Nuclear and UWUA Local 369 reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year labor contract of pay and benefits, which was pending a ratification vote by Union membership. On June 6, Entergy implemented a contingency staffing plan after the two sides could not reach an agreement.

Entergy’s spokeswoman at the Pilgrim station Carol Wightman said in a statement that the company remains focused on the safe operation of Pilgrim Station, which has been Entergy’s focus throughout the contract negotiation process.

“Approximately two-thirds of the regular work force at Pilgrim Station remain on the job, and the Company’s alternate staffing/contingency plan remains in effect.  The alternate staffing is consistent with maintaining the necessary safety focus at the plant,” the statement from Wightman read.

Entergy continued to say they believe the proposed contract rejected by the Local 369 Union membership represents an exceptional wage and benefits package and reflects the realities of today’s economy in an increasingly competitive electric power business.

“There is no question the UWUA members are highly skilled in their respective fields – but there is also no question the Pilgrim Station work force is highly compensated,” Entergy’s statement said.

Entergy said it is unclear at this time what the next steps will be, but the utility continue to believe that the federal mediation process is the success path to a contract that will enable our employees to come back to work.

Subscribe to Nuclear Power International magazine