Although a major union contract just expired, Entergy (NYSE: ETR) said late May 16 that it is focused on reaching a new four-year labor agreement at the 660-MW Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts.
The contract expired May 15 and the parties have called in a federal mediator. Entergy issued a statement the following day saying its bargaining team was seeking a new contract “that reflects the realities of the competitive electric power business and fairly compensates the workforce.”
The company denied it has instituted a “lockout” but plant management directed workers covered by the contract in non-essential positions to remain at home Wednesday [May 16] with full pay with benefits and insurance pending further progress on the contract.
Earlier in the week Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 President Dan Hurley said on the local’s website that the parties had agreed to request help from a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
A May 16 article in the Boston Globe had quoted Hurley as saying the company had locked out the affected union employees at Pilgrim.
The contract with the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 covers approximately 240 production and maintenance/office, technical and professional workers out of a total workforce of about 650 employees at the plant, Entergy said.
Entergy has said it could run the plant in the event of a strike. Another concern for Entergy is that the plant’s license is set to expire June 8, although NRC staff has recommended extending the operating license into 2032.
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., has opposed the 20-year license extension.