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San Diego Union Members Attend San Onofre Hearing For Costco Gift Cards

Dozens of union members showed up at this week’s public meeting supporting a plan to restart San Onofre nuclear plant. And they did it after receiving Costco gift cards in exchange.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Union members at the NRC public meeting on restart plan for San Onofre, Feb 13th 2013

Members of the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council traveled in buses to the Dana Point meeting Tuesday. Several encouraged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to allow Southern California Edison to restart San Onofre.

The plant was shut down one year ago after a tube rupture caused a small radioactive leak.

Tom Lemmon, the business manager of the trades council, told the NRC panel, “At the end of the day, we’re going to be safe. The workers are going to be safe. If there’s a way to get the plant up and running, let’s do it expeditiously.”

Lemmon said later this week that the union paid for the Costco gift cards for members who attended the public meeting at San Onofre. He declined to answer why they were given or what they were worth, saying he wanted to speak with lawyers first.

Lemmon did not return subsequent calls.

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Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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