Seven days after the lockout at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station began, union members are still picketing outside the plant.
Tuesday, Congressman Bill Keating joined picketing workers to show his support.
There are two central issues of which we cannot lose sight. First, this lock-out is putting an unnecessary strain on our local families at a time when they can least afford it. Pilgrim’s hard-working employees, some of whom have worked there for years, depend on their paychecks, and without a regular income, they are struggling with numerous challenges such as trying to find temporary work to pay the bills. Second, these individuals are experts in a highly specialized field. They are the men and women we need operating this plant. It is imperative they are reinstalled in their jobs and I strongly urge Entery to come back to the table immediately to negotiate their contracts.
Entergy continues to say it is willing to go back to the negotiating table with UWUA Local 369, but will not allow union members back on the job as long as the threat of a strike remains.
Union representatives say Entergy has not approached them with an offer to negotiate. Saturday, the union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that Entergy officials threatened union workers and have been illegally taping the picket line.
Meanwhile, members of the anti-nuclear group Freeze Pilgrim -- which was successful in getting Plymouth voters to demand that the plant's new license be withheld until lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster in Japan were addressed at the plant -- have filed a complaint with the town's inspectional department, claiming that Entergy has violated local zoning bylaws, along with state and federal workers' safety laws by having replacement workers sleep in trailers on the plant's grounds.
Today is day eight of the lockout.