Distrust of company leaves workers wondering if plants will be retired before scheduled June 2018 closings –
By Patricia Beech –
Distrust of company leaves workers wondering if plants will be retired before scheduled June 2018 closings
Employees at the Killen and J.M. Stuart power plants in southern Adams County are worried that DP&L will pull the rug out from under them by retiring the facilities before the June 2018 deadline.
Union leaders from Local #175 held a special meeting with DP&L employees on Wednesday, March 22 to discuss issues surrounding the plant closings.
“The meeting was held to let the employees know our strategy going forward,” said Union President, Greg Adams. “We’ve got a lot of things we have to bargain over including ‘Effects Bargaining’ to better understand what causes or effects the plant closings might have.”
Adams said the Union had identified DP&L business jobs in the Dayton area operation that some employees may be qualified to do. He also said the union was attempting to come up with an enhanced retirement for employees that aren’t quite retirement age or retirement eligible.
“We have to work out something through negotiations on that side of it,” he added. “Wednesday’s meeting was to get that information out and let people know what our next step will be since the company has announced their final decision to close the plants.”
Adams said the Union remains hopeful that another utility company will purchase the plants for future operation.
“Our chances are dwindling, but if market conditions leave that possibility open, and there’s a chance or opportunity that another company will step in, that would make all the difference.”
Employees at both the Killen and Stuart plants are concerned the Oct. 31 expiration of their union contract will precipitate the company’s move out of the county.
“There’s no guarantees,” said Adams. “Even when you look at the latest announcement from the company it reads “by June 2018”, not “on June 2018. We’ve had some newer employees who have left to accept jobs at other companies because there is definitely fear the company may shutter the plants before the 2018 deadline.”
According to Adams the union is also focusing on employees who are within five years of retirement, and the employees who have half their careers invested in the company.
“The employees need to know if they should pick up and move somewhere else, or wait it out and see if there’s an opportunity to transfer, or if something happens and the plants stay open into the future under a new owner – do I hang around, or am I taking a chance by sticking around?”