The Business Council of New York State opposes this legislation that would establish new, onerous and unlawful requirements for the Indian Point Energy Center. Current laws and regulations provide workers, the public service commission, and the operator of the competitive wholesale markets with the proper role in the transition of a closed facility.
The legislation would require a successor to the Indian Point Energy Center to retain current employees; pay prevailing wage, perform construction work pursuant to a project labor agreement with a bona fide building and construction trade, and all other work be performed pursuant to labor peace agreement and local organized labor.
The National Labor Relations Act forbids employers from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of rights relating to organizing, forming, joining or assisting a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes, or from working together to improve terms and conditions of employment, or refraining from any such activity. Similarly, labor organizations may not restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of these rights.
Aside from the ethical questions of mandating employees to join a union and pay union dues, regardless of their individual choice, requiring an organization – as a condition of doing business in New York - to recognize a bargaining unit and successfully reach a collective bargaining agreement is clearly contrary to federal law.
It should be noted that the UWUA Local 1-2 reached a four year agreement with Entergy, ensuring the required level equal staffing needed to operate the plant through April 30, 2021 is available. The successful negotiations also resulted in ongoing discussions between Entergy and Local 1-2 regarding preparing the site for decommissioning post-closure.
For the reasons stated above, we encourage that bill not be advanced.