Members of the Utility Workers Union of America, Local 369, voted last night to authorize a strike at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth if a new contract is not approved before the current agreement ends.The vote means workers could strike if a deal isn’t reached before the current union contract expires May 15.
The measure to give union leaders the power to call a strike passed overwhelmingly, said union spokeswoman Laura Wareck.
The vote comes as negotiations with the plant’s owners — Louisiana-based Entergy Corp. — have stalled over health-care cost shifting and changes in working conditions.
“This vote is absolutely critical to the safety of our communities and the well-being of our members,” UWUA President Daniel Hurley said in a statement. “It’s our hardworking men and women who safely operate this plant day in and day out, and I’ve heard clearly from my members that they would rather strike than accept Entergy’s ongoing efforts to cost-shift medical coverage and change their working conditions.”
Entergy is in the final stages of a six-year review process in an effort to renew the license at Pilgrim Nuclear, which is set to expire next month. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has recommended that commissioners issue a license renewal, which would allow the plant to operate through 2032.
UWUA Local 369 has more than 3,200 members — 380 of whom work at Pilgrim Nuclear.
Erin Smith contributed to this report.