Plymouth: Union votes to reject Pilgrim tentative contract agreement, 137-89

Union workers have rejected a tentative contract with the owners of the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth.

The Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 announced the 137-to-89 vote Wednesday. Union leaders had recommended the deal reached early Tuesday with Entergy Corp.

Union president Dan Hurley said workers “have spoken loud and clear” that they won’t accept cuts to pay or healthcare benefits, and urged Entergy to return to bargaining.

Entergy called the deal “an exceptional wage and benefits package” and said it the next steps are unclear but it favors federal mediation.

The dispute has become contentious with Entergy locking out union workers and the union filing complaints with the National abor Relations Board.

Entergy said about two-thirds of its regular workforce at Pilgrim is on the job and an alternate staffing plan remains in effect.

The following is a statement from Entergy, the owners of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth:

The Company remains squarely focused on the safe operation of Pilgrim Station, which has been our focus throughout this 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.

We continue to believe the proposed contract rejected today 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.
It is unclear at this time, what the next steps will be, but we 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.

The following is a statement from Dan Hurley, president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369:

The hardworking men and women who keep Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant operating profitably and safely have spoken loud and clear: They will not accept cuts to their pay or healthcare from a company making record profits and paying executives in the tens of millions. We urge Entergy to return to the bargaining table so that we can realistically address the very real concerns of our members.

The community has also spoken loud and clear: our union brothers and sisters, political leaders and all who value the safe operation of this plant have called on Entergy to end this lockout so that our workers can return to their important jobs of keeping our communities safe while we continue negotiations. It’s time that Entergy put safety before profits.

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