Memorandum in Opposition - A.7569-B (Galef)

A.7569-B (Galef) – AN ACT requiring the payment of prevailing wages to affected employees of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and for the department of labor to oversee the hiring of new employees at such power plant

The Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. (IPPNY) is a trade association representing companies involved in the development of electric generating facilities, the generation, sale, and marketing of electric power, and the development of natural gas facilities in the State of New York. IPPNY Member companies produce the majority of New York's electricity, utilizing almost every generation technology available today such as wind, solar, natural gas, oil, hydro, coal, biomass, and nuclear.

IPPNY opposes A.7569-B (Galef). The legislation conflicts with, and is pre-empted by, federal labor law, and it would establish a damaging precedent for all types and sizes of businesses. The legislation specifically would require employees at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant to be paid prevailing wages. The bill would require the successor owner of the Indian Point facility to retain its workforce. The legislation would require the Department of Labor to oversee the payment of prevailing wage to employees at Indian Point until the facility is closed.

Under existing New York State law, prevailing wage is the pay rate for work on a public project when the State or a public entity provides financial support. Accordingly, power plant owners that do not receive State subsidies are not subject to prevailing wage requirements. To the extent that renewable energy projects have a contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the purchase of renewable energy credits under the Clean Energy Standard, those agreements already require the payment of prevailing wage. Private companies that do not receive any State assistance cannot be required to pay dictated wages.  

Regarding the Indian Point Energy Center, in 2017, the State of New York and Entergy Corporation (the facility’s current owner) entered into a legally binding agreement to retire the Indian Point facility. The retirement announcement included a commitment to assist qualified employees to relocate to other opportunities within the Entergy system. In April of this year, Entergy announced that the Indian Point facility is being sold to Holtec International for decommissioning, and the standards for the application of prevailing wage do not apply. The announcement of the transfer of the facility to Holtec included a commitment: (1) to hire Entergy’s employees at Indian Point whose services are required for decommissioning; and (2) for those employees under a collective bargaining agreement to be assumed and honored by Holtec International. 

For the reasons stated above, IPPNY opposes A.7569-B (Galef).

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