Westinghouse workers considering IBEW union

February 2, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News
The Westinghouse fuel fabrication facility in South Carolina. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Hundreds of employees at the Westinghouse nuclear fuel fabrication facility in South Carolina are trying to form a union and join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

No comment: The union would include 600 Westinghouse employees, according to a January 24 filing with the National Labor Relations Board. A representative from the IBEW said he could not comment on the matter at this time. Westinghouse officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On the social network X, the author of the Daily Union Elections account said that it would be one of the largest union elections filed in South Carolina since 2017. “There is a narrative that unions can’t organize in the south, that it isn’t worth it,” added the X account holder and union representative, who asked to remain anonymous. “But I think that’s wrong. From grad workers at Emory in Louisiana and Duke in North Carolina, to manufacturing workers at Blue Bird in Georgia, to public sector employees in Virginia, southern workers of all stripes are standing up for themselves and winning unions and collective bargaining rights.”

The IBEW represents around 775,000 employees and retirees who work in range of fields, including utilities, construction, and manufacturing. It is the largest union of electrical workers in North America.

The facility: Westinghouse’s South Carolina site produces fuel for about 10 percent of all electricity in the United States. The union would include Westinghouse employees working in maintenance and production, specifically in the following departments: integral fuel burnable absorber fuel pellets; ammonium diuranate rods; fuel pellets; conversion; final assembly; nonfuel; tool and gage; machine shop; toolroom; tube prep; quality control in rods, receiving, and inspections; grids; the maintenance, repair, and operations storeroom; shipping and receiving; transport; environment, health, and safety; chemistry lab; metallurgical lab; product assurance; and the process engineering lab.

The following departments or employees would be excluded: clerical, security guards, janitorial, groundskeeping, and supervisory personnel.

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