Workers at the Ravenswood Power Plant in Long Island City—which can generate about 2,500 megawatts of power a day—say they’ll walk off their jobs if they don’t have a new contract by 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. Union officials say “zero progress” has been made in talks with owner TransCanada and that management has yet to present them with the proposed length of a contract.
A spokesman for TransCanada, which bought Ravenswood from National Grid in October for $3.1 billion, would not comment on specifics of the negotiations, but insisted the plant would continue to operate in the event of a work stoppage. “We do have a contingency plan in place,” he said, though he would not provide specifics of the plan. “As a result there will be no disruption in operation.”
Union officials argued Ravenswood would not be able to run for more than a day or two without their members. “The notion that TransCanada can keep the plant running…is just pure nonsense,” President Harry Farrell said in a statement.
The strike would occur at a time when the city is expected to go through one of its warmest spells of the year, boosting demand for electricity—and, potentially, the union’s bargaining power. Temperatures are forecast to approach 90 degrees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, according to Jay Searles, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University.
A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not respond to requests for comment on any action the city may be taking.