1. Business

Duke Energy informs union of contract termination if talks fail

Published Dec. 10, 2013

Duke Energy officially informed the union that represents 1,800 of its Florida electrical workers of the utility's plans to terminate its current contract agreement on Feb. 3 if a new deal isn't reached.

In a Dec. 5 notice from Richard Krotseng, director of Duke's labor relations for Florida, the company said it was "taking this action to protect its options... The company is hopeful that the parties will reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will be ratified by the union membership well before Feb. 3.

"Nevertheless, in case that were not to happen … the company does not want to go another year under the terms of the present MOA."

Duke, which has 1.7 million customers and 4,000 total workers in Florida, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have been in a contract dispute since negotiations began Oct. 15. The contract expired Dec. 2 but negotiations are continuing under the agreed-upon 60-day extension.

Concerned about a potential strike, federal regulators are reviewing policies and procedures at the shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant to ensure the safety of the facility, which still has fuel rods stored on site.