Sunday, February 9, 2003

Striking nuclear workers await ruling

The Associated Press

PADUCAH, Ky. - A ruling is expected Monday on whether striking nuclear plant workers were illegally picketing on a nearby roadway.

Nearly half of the 1,250 employees at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in western Kentucky went on strike Tuesday morning in protest over wages, health care and pension issues.

United States Enrichment Corp. operates the plant - the nation's only plant that enriches uranium for commercial nuclear power.

Wednesday, the company filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging picketers' presence on a road east of the plant was preventing some "neutral" contractors from entering the building.

Joe Artiles, resident officer for the National Labor Relations Board in Nashville, Tenn., said Friday that he had finished taking evidence from plant operator USEC Inc. and Local 5-550 of Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International. He said he forwarded the evidence to Regional Director Ronald Hooks in Memphis, Tenn., who anticipated a formal ruling Monday.

"By then it could be resolved informally," Artiles said. "If not, hopefully we'll have some kind of decision."

Artiles said earlier that if the road was designated for "neutral" contractors, the picketing probably was illegal.

Union local President Leon Owens said Friday that he would not move the picketers from the road this weekend.

"We have not received any official contact from the company in regard to a decision from the regional director," he said. "Once a decision is received, I would have to confer with our PACE International general counsel and regional vice president before embarking on a course of action."

Picket sites were unchanged by Friday's decision by the Bush administration to raise the national terror alert.

Officer shoots, kills suspect
116 arrested in police sweep
Capitol Hill has few black staffers
Clermont hears casino hints
Tribes facing gambling hurdles

PULFER: Crowley, Portune show healthy attitude
BRONSON: Warren County to Ohio: 'We told you so'
SMITH-AMOS: Retiree's life turned upside-down

Medicare trims cutting docs' options
Home & Garden Show offers change of scenery
700 head to Kings Island for work
UC adjuncts want voice in search
Tristate A.M. Report
Obituary: Sister Celine Marie Berndsen was 'a very dynamic person'
Obituary: Thomas Moser, 59, educator, 'brilliant soul'
Good News: Youth 'Project' lauds Tubman

Ohio Moments: Harrison not to log cabin born
Auditor's brochure praises her record

Visalia parents fight for school
CROWLEY: Visalia's perfection leaves it ripe for state to pluck
Boone falls behind on construction
Exhibit reflects on role of black barber shops
Spiritual leaders differ on potential war
Inmate charged with two decade-old murders
Circus asks Louisville to allow elephant rides
Striking nuclear workers await ruling