On July 8, 2016, discussions continued between Local 459 leadership and NRG management surrounding the company’s desire for workforce reductions at the Keystone and Conemaugh generating stations. Talks continued to focus on contract language and the lasting impact to the affected membership remaining at the two sites.
Union leadership and NRG management are at a disagreement on major issues. Some examples are, the use of outside contractors after a reduction of plant compliment, our right to grieve any violation that may result, and the terms of a fair severance offer to be considered by the membership.
At the conclusion of this meeting, Union leadership made it very clear what our position currently is, and has been from the beginning. That is, we understand coal fire generation has its challenges, however, we will not agree to give away job protection language we have bargained for in our contract, that has been in affect since 1934, only to be replaced by contractors. Union leadership has stated multiple times during discussions, it is our desire to work with the plant management to offset the use of outside contractors and use plant personal and Mobile Maintenance to maintain the plants. Management however, maintains the need for a workforce reduction.
At the time of this report, a follow up meeting has not been scheduled. Support from the bargaining unit has not gone unnoticed. The Union committee understands the importance of these talks as we consider all adverse affect on the Union workforce, their families, the communities and the bargaining strength of Local 459.