I want to thank the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for voting to extend the state’s ZEC program, which has provided a lifeline for our state’s nuclear power plants, preserving economic, environmental, and clean energy benefits that far outweigh the cost of the program. Together, Salem and Hope Creek provide a livelihood for 1,600 direct employees. Hundreds of these jobs belong to Union men and women, who serve critical roles in the plants. In addition, during the outages, the plants provide work for as many as 1,000 more contractors, brought in to do this important work. A great many of these workers are Union members, as well. Ensuring that these jobs are not lost is vital to New Jersey’s recovery from the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue to discuss options with PSE&G for training in the Utility. We are still in a pandemic, and we need to be mindful of our members safety, which is number one, as well as maintaining guidelines and protocols set by the State government and the CDC. All this, while trying to get new people hired and trained.
As we enter the late spring and summer, it looks as though we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, with some restrictions beginning to loosen up. We will be having our first Union meeting on May 13, 2021 at the Hightstown Elks. The meeting will be held outdoors, under the pavilion behind the Elks building.
I look forward to seeing folks back again, and let us hope this is the turn back towards normal…. Stay Safe and Mask Up!
Distribution North, Transmission, FMC Report
Modified training is working well. With pandemic restrictions, the training center had to deal with some obstacles. We have been able to work out some modifications to the training locations and methods for all classifications, and this will put training on schedule.
On March 30th, one of our members in MCD had a heart attack on the job. The men working with him performed CPR and first aid. A doctor walking by at the time helped with the situation. Police on the job for traffic control used an AED. The jobsite was a short distance from a hospital, and when he arrived there, his condition was critical. Without getting into the member’s medical information too much, the men who were working with him likely saved his life. The member who suffered the heart attack is doing well and recovering at home with his wife and family. It’s a story with a good ending. I can’t say enough about the guys who reacted when all this happened. We get the training, we usually have a couple of laughs during the training, but we learn it. I’m grateful for the guys that were there on March 30th. Well done.
We recently got a call about 42’ bucket coming onto the property with no outriggers; we know of two in Central Division and two in Metropolitan Division. They have been removed from the property. When it was brought to the attention of FMC, they immediately recalled these vehicles and sent them back to the manufacturer. Keep an eye out.
As always, look out for each other and watch each other’s back.
Distribution South, Central Report
Workers Memorial Day is observed every year on April 28. It is a day to honor the thousands of workers who have died on the job and the millions who have suffered from injury, illness, or exposure to hazards at work. The AFL-CIO established Workers Memorial Day on April 28, 1989 on the 18th anniversary of the forming of OSHA. This year on the 50th anniversary, let us all take a minute during the day and honor those who have died on the job, and recommit to the fight for a safe and healthy work environment for all workers. Pray for the dead. Fight like hell for the living.
Gas Department Message
We are in discussion with the company regarding the yard issues at the Harrison location. The property is currently under remediation, and we are in the process of putting together a few letters of agreement to help maintain the continuity of the district. As we discuss and finalize these letters of agreement, we will keep you up to date.
As the company has rolled out the AVLS systems in all the vehicles, we have been made aware that some of our members have been getting headaches and other possible side effects from the badge swipe that was installed near the driver’s seat. The company is aware of the issue and is testing that badge swipe.
Line Clearance Message
We have been having issues with tree companies paying members their PTO days due to lay-offs or quitting the company. So far, we have straightened out the problem with Davey Tree and NG Gilbert. We are still having trouble with Asplundh Tree in paying PTO days to members who have quit the company.
The Fossil spring outage season is underway with many of our plants making repairs and upgrades for the coming summer. Linden Generating Station has some discovery in the way of needed valve repairs that will ultimately extend the outage schedule. GE has disclosed a generator failure due to a manufacturing defect in its 7HA units. This will affect our Sewaren 7 unit’s outage schedule, as time will be needed to evaluate and/or repair the defect.
We have several of our members from the plants who have bid on and accepted positions in electric distribution. We wish them well in their new positions. We will have several openings in the operations departments of Linden and Kearny Gen; keep an eye on the postings if you know someone who might be interested. WRS continues with the challenges of a lack of work in NJ, and we are looking at all options to assist them any way possible. Within LTS we are working on a training/qualification matrix to refer to when making wage offers for transfers from one group to another internally. We will be meeting again with the company to collectively develop the material. We will again be sending support from the CMS shop to Nuclear for the Hope Creek outage. This work continues to help support the growing role of the CMS welders and machinists as they support Gas Mobile Construction.
We have booked the Dinner Dance in Atlantic City this year for Saturday, September 11th. We changed venues from Harrah’s to Tropicana after listening to feedback from the attendees about the desire to be on the Boardwalk. Tropicana has a wide variety of attractions within the resort, and the Boardwalk offers endless opportunities. We have secured a block of 71 rooms for the rate of $119 plus taxes and resort fees. We look forward to seeing all of you there.
The Island has voted to accept the negotiated 4 (10’s) summer schedule.
Another investigation happening out at the Yard Shop. Company is claiming that a light standard for the top of a vehicle is missing, our guy on camera with it in his hands.
Moving forward with the parking lot policy that has a 1 yr access denial after the 3rd parking lot violation.
Hal Wagner, Salem Welder has volunteered to participate in the Veteran’s Council being run by Mr. Butler. He is the lone Nuclear volunteer.
Company wants to meet with us about opening the 12 hr shift agreement, possible move on the asking OT order due to NRC Fatigue Management. I told them they have to resolve the Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Holidays and then we can talk.
The Hope Creek outage starts at noon on April 21, 2021.