Morning Briefing - May 14, 2024
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May 13, 2024

With 1 small Portsmouth labor deal in hand, Steelworkers pursue another

By ExchangeMonitor

After reaching a new labor contract with Centrus Energy for dozens of employees involved in making enriched uranium at the Department of Energy’s Portsmouth Site in Ohio, a United Steelworkers union local is in negotiations with the landlord contractor for the complex.

Although the new Centrus contract, reached in March, only involves 40 people for now, the number could swell once the company starts to ramp up production of high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU), United Steelworkers Local 689 President Herman Potter told Exchange Monitor by phone Monday.

“This contract puts us in a strong position to recruit and retain talented workers to fill the new jobs that will be created if we are successful in securing the necessary public and private financing to expand the plant,” Centrus spokesman Dan Leistikow said by email. The four-year contract covers the period from October 2022 through October 2026, Leistikow said.

As for Steelworkers Local 689, it is now in talks with North Wind, which has the Portsmouth Infrastructure Services or “roads and grounds” contract, Potter said. It has been years since Local 689 agreed to a new contract with the landlord contractor and about 60 workers are affected, Potter said.

Insurance is an issue in the North Wind talks, Potter said. The policy currently in place is a “Cadillac plan” and it seems the contractor would prefer a less-costly option, the Steelworkers representative said. 

North Wind did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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