BUCHANAN, N.Y. – Nearly 400 Indian Point workers may strike If a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached by Friday, Jan. 17, when the current one is set to expire, said John Melia, spokesman for Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2.
Melia said the union voted Monday night to approve a strike if a new contract is not reached by Jan. 17. However, he said that labor talks don’t really get started until the deadline and that he expects a new contract will be reached.
“One of the few tools we have to take on management with deep pockets is an authorization to strike,” he said. “And that would severely hamper Indian Point’s ability to operate, and no one wants that to happen. It provides 25 percent of the electric power for New York City and Westchester County.”
Indian Point is owned and operated by Entergy, whose spokesman Jim Steets said the vote to authorize a strike is not a vote to strike. He said he also expects a contract will be reached.
"It's all part of the process leading up to finalizing negotiations," he said.
The last time the union organized a strike was in the 1980s, Melia said.
“This union is not shy of going on strike, but we haven’t had to have a strike against our employers in a long time,” he said. “Right now, it’s a tool, it’s a bargaining tool.”
Melia did not reveal the specifics of their negotiations with Entergy, but did say they hope a new contract would be for three years, as it has been previously.
The Utility Workers Union of America also represents about 8,000 Con Edison employees.