Entergy ‘Locks Out’ Reactor Workers, Using Back-Up Employees

Entergy Corp., the second-largest U.S. nuclear-power generator, is staffing its Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts with management and employees from other plants after the union said the company was “locking out” workers.

A union assertion that local members reserve the right to walk off the job at any time without notice is “unacceptable” because it disregards public safety and may violate the plant’s operating license, New Orleans-based Entergy said today in a statement after contract talks with the union failed.

Entergy locked out workers who are “critical to safely managing” the plant, Dan Hurley, president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 369, said in a separate statement. The dispute involves 240 of the plant’s 650 workers, Rob Williams, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Entergy rose 0.4 percent to $65.20 at the close in New York.

The Pilgrim nuclear power station in Plymouth is 38 miles (61 kilometers) southeast of Boston. The 685-megawatt plant can power about 548,000 average homes. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced May 29 it had renewed the 40-year-old plant’s operating license for another 20 years.

Exelon Corp. is the largest U.S. nuclear power generator in the U.S.