Tentative labor deal reached for Seabrook nuclear plant

After hitting an impasse recently, it appears that NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) and members of the Utility Workers Union of America (AFL-CIO) Local 555 employed at the Seabrook nuclear station in New Hampshire might avoid a work stoppage after all.

Bargainers for the two sides, along with a representative of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS), reached a tentative agreement for a new multi-year contract Dec. 1 as the old agreement was about to expire.

The 226 UWUA members at Seabrook are expected to vote on the proposed agreement by the end of the week, a Seabrook spokesperson told GenerationHub Dec. 2. The vote is expected to come Dec. 5, the spokesperson said.

By mutual agreement terms of the old contract will remain in effect until the rank-and-file votes on the proposal, he added.

The UWUA is one of the larger unions performing work at Seabrook, which employs roughly 640 union and salaried workers, the spokesperson said.

The two sides had been bargaining for some time and reached an impasse before resuming negotiations with the federal mediator shortly before Thanksgiving Day, the NextEra spokesperson said. After taking the holiday off from talks, the parties were able to reach a tentative deal during the prolonged post-Thanksgiving weekend.

“We are pleased to have reached a fair agreement that balances the needs of our employees with the realities of today’s economic environment,” the NextEra spokesperson said.

Published reports in New England quoted the UWUA Local 555 president as saying the labor group’s executive board is unanimously behind the proposed deal. The union leader was quoted as saying that agreement was reached over issues concerning certified fire brigade leaders, pay increases, and days off.

Seabrook is a roughly 1,200-MW pressurized water reactor (PWR) unit in Seabrook, N.H. The company hopes to receive a 20-year license extension for the plant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2015.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.