Union, employee questions not being answered by company –
By Patricia Beech –
Photo by Mark Carpenter –
Dayton Power & Light employees at the J.M. Stuart and Killen power generating stations received letters last week informing them that effective Oct. 1 they will be employees of AES Ohio Generation LLC.
Greg Adams, president of Local 175 of the Utility Workers Union of America told the Defender that employees at the plant are concerned about their jobs.
“They’re uneasy,” he said. “This is something the company flung at us last week. There’s a lot of unknowns concerning what it’s going to mean for the employees and the plants in Adams County.
Three hundred letters were sent to workers at the two coal-fired plants after the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the transfer of DP&L ‘s power generation assets to AES Ohio Generation LLC, an offshoot company of the the Virginia- based AES Corporation.
AES Corporation became the owner of Dayton Power & Light in 2011 after purchasing its parent company DPL Inc.
In August 2016, DP&L filed at the FERC for approval to turn its power-generating plants over to AES Ohio Generation.
Once the transaction and its subsequent implementation receive regulatory approval, AES Ohio will assume ownership of DP&L generation assets including 13 coal, oil, and gas-fired generating units and one solar unit, totaling 2,510 megawatts.
DP&L is the last of Ohio’s utility companies to comply with the rules of deregulation set down in Ohio Senate Bill 3, which requires the company to separate its power-generating assets from its distribution and transmission business.
Adams said the company indicated in January they would separate the two within the next 18 months.
“There’s been a plan to separate generation from service operation for a while, but they’d backed off of that, he said. “They already had an objective closure date so what’s the reason for separating now? We have a lot of questions about why they’re doing it now.”
According to Adams, the company’s contract with the union expires Oct. 31. The union and the company are currently in contract negotiations for both service operations and power generation employees.
According to DP&L spokesperson Mary Ann Kabel, the power plants’ employees will continue working their jobs and the transfer of employees between the two companies will not affect customer rates.
DP&L acknowledged last week that it was sending about a dozen finance and accounting jobs to Argentina.
“This is all stuff they have sprung on us in the past week as part of contract negotiations,” Adams said. “We have a ton of questions but they haven’t answered us up to this point.”