Labor issues continue at nuclear power plant in Massachusetts

Entergy Nuclear on June 6 implemented a contingency staffing plan at its 688 MW Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass. The action was taken after parties were unsuccessful in reaching an agreement for a new union contract between Entergy and the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369.

“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,” Entergy (NYSE: ETR) said in a press release.

Entergy said the contingency plan for temporary alternate staffing is consistent with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations and is in the interest of safety and maintaining formal organizational controls on the plant site. Entergy said highly qualified individuals from within Pilgrim’s management team as well as the Entergy nuclear fleet will be filling the necessary positions.

Entergy said it has proposed further wages increases each year atop an average income that is already more than $122,000.

“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, Entergy said.

Entergy on June 8 said it continues to be ready to resume discussions with Union leadership, while about two-thirds of the regular work force at Pilgrim Station remained on the job. The company said it believes the federal mediation process is the success path to a contract that will enable employees to come back to work.

Contract workers that have been temporarily brought in meet qualification requirements and have many years of experience working at nuclear power plants around the country, including Pilgrim Station and other Entergy nuclear plants, Entergy said.

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