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By Susan R. Hobbs
Security officers represented by United Government Security Officers of America Local 36 at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, Miss., were locked out Oct. 1, Entergy Corp., the plant owner, announced.
When their collective bargaining contract expired at midnight Sept. 30 without a renewed contract and without an extension, the employer locked out its security staff and implemented a contingency staffing plan “to ensure a professional security force remained in place after the expiration of the current contract,” according to Entergy. Replacement workers were brought in from security firms and other Entergy nuclear facilities, the company said.
The company said it “remains committed” to bargaining in good faith to reach a contract but did not say whether the talks have broken off or are continuing.
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has been involved with the parties during negotiations and “remains in contact with the parties,” FMCS spokesman John Arnold told BNA Oct. 5.
An Entergy spokesman Oct. 5 declined to say how many employees are in the security officers bargaining unit.
“Since those employees would have been working without a contract, they would reserve the right to leave their posts and strike at any time, a situation that is unacceptable,” Mike Balduzzi, senior vice president of nuclear technical services at Entergy Nuclear, said Oct. 1 in a statement.
He did not say whether or not union members have taken a vote to give union officials the authority to call a strike.
The lockout at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station is the second this year by Entergy. In June, the company locked out about 240 workers represented by Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., after the union members rejected a company contract offer (110 DLR A-13, 6/7/12). The workers were locked out for more than one month and returned to work after ratifying a labor contract July 8 (131 DLR A-4, 7/9/12).
A spokeswoman for the union was not available for comment.
By Susan R. Hobbs
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