CORTLANDT, NY — A strike at the Indian Point nuclear power plant continues to be averted, for now. Negotiators agreed before midnight Thursday to continue talks.
The workers in had initially voted to strike when the contract expired, at midnight Wednesday, and then both sides agreed to a 24-hour extension for negotiations.
As of Friday morning, a union described an agreed-to break in the talks. He also used the occasion to aim some barbs at Entergy, the owner of the plant.
“The Union was ready to go but management needed some beauty sleep, while its appointed “negotiators” and their overlords in Louisiana ignore the impact of their inaction on the fate of the working men and women who safely operate and maintain a nuclear power plant and on the communities they serve in New York State,” Local 1-2 President James T. Slevin said early Friday morning in a press release. “I guess in Entergy’s case, it’s management is more concerned with its own comfort than resolving the problems it has caused by its attacks on the welfare of Entergy’s own employees. For our part, Local 1-2 is used to working round the clock and was prepared to do so tonight.”
Slevin said he hoped and expected that talks would resume later Friday.
An Entergy spokesman said only that negotiations were continuing.
Indian Point, which provides up to a quarter of the electricity for New York City and Westchester County, will cease operations in 2021 under an agreement reached a year ago between Entergy and the principal forces seeking its closure, New York State and environmental watchdog Riverkeeper.
The union represents operations, radiation protection, chemistry and maintenance workers at the plant. It is seeking a new contract through 2022. One of its goals is to keep the experienced nuclear plant workers on hand during the shutdown process.