FirstEnergy Solutions bankruptcy case held up by labor dispute

COLUMBUS — "FirstEnergy Solutions’ proposed reorganization plan can’t go forward until the company reaches a deal with the two labor unions representing workers at its two of its three nuclear power plants, a federal bankruptcy judge said this week.

The decision by Judge Alan Koschik creates another obstacle to FirstEnergy Solutions’ plans to split away from FirstEnergy Corp. and operate Ohio’s two nuclear power plants with a newly passed $150 million annual bailout collected from ratepayers statewide.

Locals of the two unions, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Utility Workers Union of America, asked Koschik not to approve FirstEnergy Solutions’ reorganization, arguing that it was using the bankruptcy proceedings to wiggle out of its labor agreements with the unions.

FirstEnergy Solutions argues that it needs to negotiate new contracts, as the restructured company won’t be able to afford to offer the pension benefits granted under the current contracts agreed to by FirstEnergy Corp."

— Jeremy Pelzer,

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