IBEW Local 15 Continues to work for Comprehensive Energy Legislation
Labor leaders across Illinois have joined together to ask state legislators to work on passing a comprehensive Energy Bill that would address market issues that have challenged electric generators in Illinois.
Many of the generating stations in Illinois have become financially challenged and as a result the companies that operate them have announced staffing reductions or in some cases even plant closures. Recently NRG announced staffing reductions at two of its four IBEW 15 represented stations, Waukegan and Powerton. Exelon Generation announced premature closures of two of its five IBEW 15 represented stations, Byron and Dresden. If legislation isn’t passed the Byron and Dresden stations will officially close in the fall of 2021. Local 15 President-Business Manager Terry McGoldrick and other labor leaders across the state have had meaningful discussions with the Governor’s staff and other Legislative Leaders to discuss energy legislation, and how to move forward in a positive way.
IBEW 15 President McGoldrick and Vice-President Bill Phillips have also had daily phone calls with many different State Senators and State Representatives to continue the conversation on a one-on-one level.
“Our main message has been that we should support a process that allows us to purchase power from within the state, we should invest in the companies that have assets in our state” said President McGoldrick.
Although these daily conversations have been very productive and Local 15 will continue to work with state legislators to keep these Illinois assets open and staffed to supply safe reliable power now and into the future, legislation is not guaranteed. Therefore, the company is also making shutdown plans. IBEW 15 plans to begin Effects Bargaining related to impact to our members of a possible closure. Effects Bargaining occurs when an employer makes a decision, such as a plant - closing, and the Union requests to bargain how that decision will involve the unionized employees.
Currently, both sides are working to collect information and the Company is putting together its plans for the potential decommissioning organization for both Byron and Dresden. Both organizations plan to sit down and begin discussions by mid-October.
Some of the likely topics for discussion will be internal transfer opportunities, decommissioning positions and voluntary separations, layoffs. To be clear, the terms of a Voluntary Separation Package are already part of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and would apply unless modified in Effects Bargaining.
These complex discussions will take some time to complete. Please try to be patient while we work through these challenging topics. IBEW 15 and Exelon Generation are working to have an agreement in place no later than the Spring of 2021 to establish the various employment options should the company make the final decision to close.