Local 369 union workers have been locked out of the Pilgrim Power Plant in Plymouth for seventeen days now and with the latest contract proposal voted down, the number of protesters outside of Entergy’s gate has shrunk.
39% of the union workers voted in favor of accepting the contract Wednesday. Kelly O’Brien, a member of the union’s Negotiating Committee, was stationed at the power plant’s gate on Rocky Hill Road Friday where only seventeen protesters walked the line, but he said the low turnout isn’t a reflection of the split vote.
“We’re requiring seven days a week coverage. We know we need to give people a break to spend some time with their families, to get a chance to do what they have to do to take care of their business. As of the end of this week, people will be losing their medical coverage so they have to do what they have to do with that,” said O’Brien.
According to O’Brien, the latest proposal by Entergy would increase a worker’s share of health care costs from 25% to 30% without an increase in wages to compensate the difference.
But he said they’re not giving up on a fair contract with Entergy, “We’re willing to stay at the table and work this thing out.”
In a statement released by Entergy following the contract rejection, the corporation said the Local 369 union workers are “highly skilled” and “highly compensated” and they believe federal mediation will conclude the lockout in Plymouth.