Strike Looms at Nuclear Power Plants

Constellation’s position is that the company tried, in good faith, to reach a new contract with the two unions — NUNSO and SEIU – but since such an agreement has not been reached, some of the company’s plants have been operating under a costly contingency plan since 14 March. The Lasalle plant has been operating under a contingency plan since March 18th.

The company informed the two unions that its “offers to date have been premised on not incurring NRC-mandated contingency costs,” and warned the unions:

If you do not agree to an extension…, the Company will begin incurring contingency costs. Those costs, which compound daily, will be considered by the Company in formulating all further proposals, which, given those costs, may not be as favorable as our current proposals have been. In a good faith effort to reach an agreement, the Company requests that the Union reconsider their stance on signing an extension before we are forced to incur these costs and consider them.

Steve Maritas, the Organizing Director of LEOS-PBA, described the company’s offer as a “wage reduction,” because the company’s offer reduced the wage increases each year of the contract from 2.5 percent to 2.2 percent, and reduced the ratification bonus to security officers from $1,000 to $400.

The union also criticizes Constellation’s negotiating tactics. While the two sides were negotiating over the contract at LaSalle, Constellation, without warning, decided to put on the table what the company described as “a last, best final offer.” People familiar with labor negotiations say this his highly unusual, since the two sides were still in negotiations and the negotiations did not reach an impasse.

Maritas wrote the company, saying:

we must reject the current offer. It is important to note that our negotiations have not reached an impasse. We have negotiation dates scheduled and federal mediation arranged with both sites, which are critical next steps in our collective bargaining process. These planned meetings are a testament to our commitment to continue negotiations in good faith, with the aim of reaching an agreement that is acceptable to all parties involved.

On, Friday, NUNSO went back to the negotiation table, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) has joined the negotiations after the last negotiation sessions got heated and voices were raised.

The CBA with the security officers at Braidwood expires on Monday, 1 April 2024. NUNSO has not signed an extension agreement, so the plant is in a contingency plan right now. Once the CBA contract expires on 1 April, NUNSO can legally strike not only at Braidwood, but also at all of Constellation’s other fourteen facilities around the country, except Clinton and R. E. Ginna. NUNSO represents the security officer at these plants, but there is a no-strike clause in the security officers’ contracts at the plants.

At LaSalle, the union cannot strike the plant until 19 April owing to an extension agreement MOU, which expires on 18 April.

LEOS-PBA said that if NUNSO decides to call a strike at Braidwood, it may expand its strike against the company and security officers at the following Constellation plants may go on strike on 2 April:

·  Braidwood Clean Energy Center, Braceville, Illinois

·  Byron Clean Energy Center, Byron, Illinois

·  Calvert Cliffs Clean Energy Center, Lusby, Maryland

·  Dresden Clean Energy Center, Morris, Illinois

·  James A. FitzPatrick Clean Energy Center 2, Oswego, New York

·  Limerick Clean Energy Center, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

·  Nine Mile Point Clean Energy Center, Oswego, New York

·  Peach Bottom Clean Energy Center, Delta, Pennsylvania

·  Quad Cities Clean Energy Center, Cordova, Illinois

·  Salem Generating Station, Salem County, New Jersey

·  South Texas Project, Bay City, Texas

At Lasalle, an extension agreement MOU expires 18 April, so strike cannot start before 19 April

·  LaSalle Clean Energy Center, Marseilles, Illinois

The security officers contract in these two plants have a no-strike clause:

·  Clinton Clean Energy Center, Clinton, Illinois

·  R.E. Ginna Clean Energy Center, Ontario, New York

If a nationwide strike is called against Constellation energy company by the Union, LEOS-PBA expects that the other unions would honor its strike line — essentially, shutting down Constellation energy company’s nuclear sites nationwide.