published Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Union rips Tennessee Valley Authority guard changes

The head of the labor union that represents the guards at the Sequoyah and Browns Ferry nuclear plants said Wednesday that the Tennessee Valley Authority is undermining staff morale and trying to bust the union in the way it is changing its plant security.

James Carney, president of the United Government Security Officers of America international union, said TVA is terminating its contract with Pinkerton Government Services and bringing nearly 600 guards in-house as TVA employees.

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Mr. Carney said his union is preparing possible civil action against TVA for not recognizing the union through the transition as other utilities have done when they replace contract guards.

“TVA’s actions have raised immediate concerns among security officers that they might lose their jobs and benefits,” he said.

TVA spokesman Terry Johnson said TVA in bringing security in-house “to give us better and more direct lines of communications” with employees and give TVA more control. Mr. Johnson said TVA’s contract with Pinkerton does not include any requirement for continued union representation when employees transition to in-house jobs.

The guards will come under TVA employment at Browns Ferry in April, at Watts Bar in May and at Sequoyah in June.

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