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Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Pilgrim union rally back on--1pm at the State House Thursday
Original rally scheduled for June 19 was canceled
Tentative agreement falls through, rally back on
A union rally originally planned for Tuesday, June 19 and canceled, will be held today at 1 p.m. in front of the State House in Boston. The rally is intended to bring attention to the lockout of workers at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth. The original rally was canceled when a tentative agreement was reached between representatives of the locked out workers and the nuclear plant's owner Entergy. The tentative agreement has since fallen through.
On June 5, almost 250 union workers were escorted offsite when their contract with Entergy expired.
The rally is organized by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the Greater Boston Labor Council, the Plymouth-Bristol Central Labor Council and the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369.
The organizers of the rally accuse Entergy of choosing greed over safety by locking out experienced workers and filling their positions with management from within the company. They also allege that safety is no longer a top priority after a safety drill scheduled for June 20 was cancelled by the company.
In addition to having locked the workers out without pay, Entergy is set to cancel their health insurance and benefits Saturday at midnight. According to union officials, Entergy's offer included severe cuts to employee health coverage and was therefore rejected. "Our members have spoken loud and clear – they will not accept cuts to their pay or healthcare, especially from a company that is making a million dollars a day from Pilgrim Nuclear and paying its executives tens of millions of dollars," said UWUA Local 369 President Dan Hurley. "The community has spoken also: they want the most highly trained workforce back on the job and ensuring the safe operation of this plant. It’s time for Entergy to choose safety over profits."
Union leaders have also filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board accusing Entergy managers of making "coercive and threatening" statements to workers prior to an early contract vote. They have also accused the security workers hired by Entergy of attempting to intimidate picketers outside the Plymouth plant by video and audio taping them.
Several local politicians are scheduled to attend today's rally including MA State Treasure Steven Grossman, Senate President Therese Murray, Representative Marty Walsh, Representative Tom Calter, State Senator Dan Wolf, Representative Mark Cusack and Representative Nick Collins. Congressman Bill Keating met with the picketing workers outside the Plymouth plant earlier this month.
Union and organization leaders will also be in attendance.
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