Monday morning representatives from Honeywell and United Steel Workers Local 7-669 are set to resume contract negotiations. Aug. 16, reports surfaced there were two releases from Honeywell's Metropolis Works Plant on Friday, Aug. 15.
Honeywell Spokesman Peter Dalpe confirmed Sunday morning on Aug. 15, the plant did experience two very small leaks of UF6 during separate maintenance activities. "Unfortunately, the union appears to be raising exaggerated claims about the safety of the plant to further its bargaining position," said Dalpe, in a company statement.
"In regard to the two UF6 releases that occurred at the facility Friday, the union made no reference as to how the response was handled by personnel at the plant. The union did recognize, however, that the company has made multiple claims about being upfront in their negotiations and operations, sending information to the public and media at every turn, yet chose to keep two releases of uranium hexafluoride quiet," said USW Spokesman John Paul Smith, in a union statement on Sunday.
According to Dalpe, in both cases, the amount released was small, contained in the immediate area and quickly stopped. "There were no injuries. All plant emergency procedures were followed and the incidents were reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Committee," said Dalpe, who emphasized it is important to note the NRC last week completed a routine inspection of the safety operations of the plant and found no violations or other findings.
Dalpe points out the union talks about safety, but has apparently not ceased some picket misconduct that caused the company to sent a letter to union leadership Aug. 13. One day after the latter was sent, Dalpe said the tire of another vehicle entering the plant was found to have been damaged by a nail.
"Honeywell calls on the union to take steps to stop the dangerous practice of spreading nails on the driveway, which endangers drivers and the general public," said Dalpe.
Smith said it is obvious the company continues a "smear campaign" regarding picket line activity. "It is now apparent that Honeywell believes that every nail in every tire that is in their plant must have been put there by union members, despite having no evidence that any member is responsible for any damage," said Smith, adding, "The company is attempting to shift focus away from their unreasonable bargaining positions in search of public favor."