UPDATE: Lockout at Plymouth’s Pilgrim Nuclear Plant, local officials weigh-in

Photo by Steven Dodrill, SDodrill@959watd.com

A labor dispute at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth has boiled over with management locking out unionized workers and both sides accusing the other of compromising public safety.

The president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 said that plant owner Entergy locked out unionized employees after contract negotiations ended Tuesday. The union represents about 90 percent of the plant’s work force.

President Dan Hurley called the move “deeply alarming.” He called it “despicable” that management continues “shortchanging” employees a week after getting a 20-year license renewal. He says Louisiana-based Entergy is demanding “major concessions on health care, salary and staffing.”

Entergy said the plant has implemented an emergency staffing plan because the union reserved the right to walk off the job at any time.

WATD’s Steven Dodrill was live as protesters walked the picket lines at the entrance to the Entergy owned facility on Rocky Hill Road in Plymouth

Joint Statement from Senate President Murray and Representatives Calter and deMacedo on the Pilgrim Lockout

“It is extremely disappointing to learn that Entergy has once again locked out the workers from the Pilgrim plant. This action is unacceptable as it serves only to undermine the security of the plant and exacerbate the existing unease and safety concerns surrounding the nuclear site. The workers are ready, willing and able to continue the safe and professional operation of the plant as contract negotiations continue. Entergy should reconsider this lockout. The workers and the community deserve a better response.”

Statement from Entergy Nuclear in regards to the Pilgrim Station Contract
June 6, 2012
 
We have tremendous trust and confidence in our employees, and we remain committed to finalizing a new agreement that balances our responsibilities with the realities of today’s economy.
 
Our proposals seek to reflect this commitment, as we have proposed further wages increases each year atop an average income that is already more than $122,000.  Also, the premium health plan proposed to employees was developed by the union – which we agreed to support.
 
We believe the further wage increases, comprehensive medical benefits, a company-matching 401(k) savings program and annual incentive awards that average $3,400 per employee all represent a substantial four-year commitment to our employees and their well-being. We believe this is an exceptional and very attractive opportunity, particularly in today’s economy and competitive demands.
 
We believe the proposals we have offered are unquestionably fair and reasonable.

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