Indian Point negotiations continue into night

Posted: Updated:
BUCHANAN -

Talks continued into Friday night as Entergy and Utility Workers of America Local 1-2 sought to avert a strike at the Indian Point power plant.

Union leaders described a mixed outlook at different points in the day Friday. Their contract with Entergy officially expired Thursday, and negotiations seemed to be falling apart until representatives emerged Friday evening to say there had been some positive movement in the discussion.

John Duffy, the national vice president of Utility Workers of America, said earlier that the union no longer felt Entergy leaders are negotiating in good faith. That led to the unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.

"It's up to Entergy to turn it around at this point," Duffy said.

By 10 p.m., no deal had been reached.

About 350 Indian Point utility workers, represented by Local 1-2, are seeking a contract that includes a wage increase in medical benefits to cover them until 2020 – one year after the nuclear power plant in Buchanan shuts down.

The workers have been threatening to walk off the job if they fail to come to terms on what they consider to be a fair contract.

On Friday, Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said the utility company is still speaking with union negotiators.

"There's federal mediators who are involved, so as long as they are talking there is potential for progress to be made," he said. "The optimal situation is to reach an agreement that benefits the union and its members in the company."

In the event of a strike, Nappi said Entergy has a contingency plan to continue safely operating the plant.

Both sides have said they wish to avoid a strike and reach a deal, but workers hadn't ruled one out. 

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