Local 369 union workers have been locked out of the Pilgrim Power Plant in Plymouth for 20 days and with the latest contract proposal voted down, the number of protesters outside of Entergy’s gate has shrunk.
While part of the numbers may have to do with the heatwave the region has been through, it also has to do with coverage, according to Kelly O’Brien, a member of the union’s Negotiating Committee.
"We’re requiring seven days a week coverage. We know we need to give people a break to spend some time with their families, to get a chance to do what they have to do to take care of their business," O'Brien told WATD. "At of the end of this week, people will be losing their medical coverage so they have to do what they have to do with that," said O’Brien.
Of 226 union members, 137 voted against a contract last Wednesday. Only 39 percent of union workers voted in favor of accepting the contract.
O’Brien was stationed at the power plant’s gate on Rocky Hill Road Friday where only seventeen protesters walked the line, but he said the low turnout isn’t a reflection of the split vote.
According to O’Brien, the latest proposal by Entergy would increase a worker’s share of health care costs from 25 to 30 percent without an increase in wages to compensate the difference.
But he said they’re not giving up on a fair contract with Entergy, "We’re willing to stay at the table and work this thing out."
Entergy officials have stated that the company believes that federal mediation will end the lockout.