Barely 18 hours after announcing an agreement to negotiate with Entergy, UWUA Local 369 membership rejected the proposed contract. Of the 226 votes, 137 voted against the contract.
Union president Dan Hurley said membership "will not accept cuts to their pay or health care from a company making record profits and paying executives in the tens of millions. We urge Entergy to return to the bargaining table so that we can realistically address the very real concerns of our members.
"The community has also spoken loud and clear: our union brothers and sisters, political leaders and all who value the safe operation of this plant have called on Entergy to end this lockout so that our workers can return to their important jobs of keeping our communities safe while we continue negotiations. It's time that Entergy put safety before profits."
Here's the press release from Pilgrim spokesman Carol Wightman:
UWUA Local 369 Pilgrim Station Workers Reject New Contract The Company remains squarely focused on the safe operation of Pilgrim Station, which has been our focus throughout this contract negotiation process. Approximately two-thirds of the regular work force at Pilgrim Station remain on the job, and the Company’s alternate staffing/contingency plan remains in effect. The alternate staffing is consistent with maintaining the necessary safety focus at the plant. We continue to believe the proposed contract rejected today by the Local 369 Union membership represents an exceptional wage and benefits package and reflects the realities of today’s economy in an increasingly competitive electric power business. There is no question the UWUA members are highly skilled in their respective fields – but there is also no question the Pilgrim Station work force is highly compensated. It is unclear at this time, what the next steps will be, but we continue to believe that the federal mediation process is the success path to a contract that will enable our employees to come back to work.
Union members were not picketing outside the plant today.
UPDATE: Union membes, albeit fewer because of the heat, are still picketing outside Pilgrim.