Indian Point decommissioning a sticking point in contract talks

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Union leaders say representatives of Indian Point power plant's management company, Entergy, abruptly walked away from the contract negotiations at 4 a.m. Saturday. 

The two sides have been working for weeks on a new collective bargaining agreement. The former agreement for the plant's 400 workers expired on Thursday. 

James Slevin, president of Utility Workers of America Local 1-2, says Entergy has already agreed to wages and certain benefits for employees. The real problem, he says, is that the company won't commit to pay the plant's current workers to decommission the Buchanan-based plant when it completely closes in 2021. 

Slevin says he thinks Entergy wants to outsource the decommission work to a Southern company – something he says could have ramifications for everyone in the Hudson Valley.

"This is not just a takedown of the house. This is a nuclear facility. Would you want someone from the South…come up and tear this plant down without any concern for the community?" Slevin told News 12

Entergy spokesperson Jerry Nappi said in a statement to News 12, "The reason we don't have a deal is because the union continued to insist on language in the contract that they would perform all decommissioning work and that any potential owner be bound to that same requirement. This is infeasible for several reasons, including the fact that little is currently known about the works and skills required to complete decommissioning and will not be known until after we complete a comprehensive evaluation within the next few years."

Entergy representatives also told News 12 that they plan to resume negotiation talks with union leaders soon. Union representatives say they still have not heard from Entergy when and if talks will begin again.

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