NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Paul Tonko called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to protect local jobs at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) in Niskayuna. The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) union claims that Fluor Marine Propulsion (FMP) is inappropriately moving work performed by Local 147 members out of the Capital Region.
Lawmakers explained that IFPTE Local 147 represents workers employed at KAPL, which is contracted by FMP to perform key work on the nation’s nuclear naval fleet. The union alleges that FMP is moving work from the Niskayuna facility to a non-union facility, Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in Pennsylvania.
IFTPA was expected to represent over 80 union workers at KAPL but now that FMP is moving work to Pennsylvania, there are 35-40 non-represented employees assigned to work that is covered by the collective bargaining recognition, resulting in a significant decrease of Local 147 jobs at Knolls. Moving work to another state is a violation of FMP’s Loca 147 contract and going against President Biden’s Worker Empowerment Taskforce’s recommendations.
This issue comes at a time when FMP’s contract with the DOE is up for renewal this September at a cost of over $17 billion. The representatives explained that for multiple years, they have fought to fully fund this program within both the Department of Energy and Department of Defense budgets and that this decision was a conscious choice to ensure that KAPL had sufficient federal government funding to continue its work and maintain its workforce.
In addition to returning critical jobs to KAPL, Schumer, Gillibrand, and Tonko are also calling on the DOE to work with FMP in the renewal process to ensure that the company maintains its fully federally funded workforce in New York going forward. IFPTE International President Matt Biggs comments, “IFPTE thanks Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko for holding Fluor accountable for unjustly moving union represented jobs at KAPL to Bettis where this work is performed by non-represented workers.”