On August 27th, the Exelon corporation announced their intentions to begin the process of closing Dresden and Byron Nuclear Power Stations. Although they will start the process for both plants right away the actual last days of operations for Byron will be September of 2021 and November of 2021 for Dresden.
Exelon has been communicating with state legislators for years that some of these plants were financially challenged and in danger of being closed prematurely.
Exelon along with several other groups including a coalition of organized labor have been trying to get a comprehensive energy bill passed by the legislature that would value clean energy and electrical generators in the state. Unfortunately, at this point there has been no movement in getting comprehensive energy legislation and a decision has been made that will have a huge impact on the workers at these stations, the local economy around these stations and the state economy as a whole.
IBEW Local 15 represents approximately 325 employees at each of these stations. President Terry McGoldrick, Vice-President Bill Phillips, Nuclear Business Representatives Tom Hinspeter, Ben Busser and Fabian Vela went to Dresden and Byron Stations on August 27th with company representatives to conduct various employee meetings to deliver this very difficult announcement. Local 15 leadership along with the labor union coalition from Illinois will continue to work with state legislators to pass legislation that will allow these plants to continue to operate.
Although getting legislation passed will be everyone’s primary focus, IBEW 15 and Exelon will also begin “effects bargaining” at some point in the future to work out the details of how the actual plant closings would happen and the effects on our members. At this time there are many unanswered questions that will need to be worked out through the “effects bargaining” process. As we work through that process we will continue to update the Stewards and our members at these plants.