Indian Point Strike Looms as Workers and Owners Extend Negotiations
As the original strike deadline passed, both sides have agreed to an additional 24 hours of talks.
Tony Fischer | flickr
Update 1/24/18: Shortly after 2 a.m. this morning, Union and Entergy officials announced they have reached a tentative agreement that would run through 2022 and Indian Point's decommissioning process. The agreement will now be taken to union members for ratification.
Update 1/19/18: Per a union press release early Friday morning, negotiations have been suspended at Entergy's request for a rest break. Talks are to resume sometime later today.
Picketers lined the frozen street in front of the Indian Point nuclear power plant for much of Tuesday and Wednesday, for once not to demand its closure. The contentious utility is already set to close in 2021 as New York seeks to distance itself from nuclear and fossil fuel energy production. These picketers were plant employees, and they’re seeking a new contract that would allow them to remain employed through 2022, aiding in decommissioning the 56-year-old facility.
Utilities Workers Union of America Local 1–2 had voted to strike as no agreement was reached by midnight Wednesday. “If Indian Point is de-commissioned,” said Union President James T. Slevin in an official statement, “we will be the professional force to do it and make sure it is done safely.”
Related: Behind The Scenes At Indian Point
A little before 2 a.m. Thursday, Slevin and a spokesman for Entergy, the Louisiana-based utilities company that purchased Indian Point that has owned and operated its two running reactors since 2001, agreed to extend contract negotiations an additional twenty-four hours. The new deadline is midnight Thursday.
Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan currently provides approximately 25 percent of the electricity in Westchester and New York City, and 10 percent of the state’s total.