FirstEnergy Solutions moves to ditch union contracts

FirstEnergy Solutions' veteran nuclear plant workers would lose traditional pensions if a bankruptcy court agrees with the latest FES restructuring plan

AKRON -- "On the same day in July that Ohio lawmakers approved state-wide customer charges to give FirstEnergy Solutions a six-year $1.1 billon nuclear plant subsidy, the company told a bankruptcy court it could not honor existing contracts with unions representing power plant employees and intended to negotiate completely new bargaining agreements once it emerged as a reorganized company.

 

That revelation emerged Friday in an objection to the company's latest reorganization plan by lawyers representing locals of the Utility Workers Union of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The unions were among more than half dozen parties in the case filing objections. 

...The struggle between the company and its unions is erupting publicly just weeks before court hearings are scheduled on the company's bankruptcy reorganization plan and also comes at a time when opponents of HB 6 are gearing up a referendum petition drive to put the subsidy issue before voters on the November 2020 ballot.

The union is basing its position in the bankruptcy struggle to remain viable at the power plants on the argument that 'successorship clauses' in the contracts obligate FES to require any new company — including a reorganized FirstEnergy Solutions — to assume the contracts as they were agreed to.  The unions point out that FES abided by that contract language when it sold other power plants to outside companies."

-- John Funk, Utility Dive

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