Talen Energy discusses power plant layoffs with IBEW

Talen Energy (NYSE:TLN) is currently looking at layoffs of roughly 130 people employee at certain power plants and a company office in Pennsylvania, according to an online posting by the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) Local 1600.

Representatives from Talen and Local 1600 met July 19 “regarding upcoming bargaining unit reductions” in accordance with the labor agreement between the parties, according to a July 20 update from Local 1600 President Steve Knoebel.

The labor agreement calls for the company to identify the job classifications and locations of the “excess positions” and notify the union local of the intended layoffs. “The Union and the Company then have 10 working days to correctly identify the displaced employees based on lowest IBEW Local 1600 seniority within the job classification at the work location,” Knoebel said.

“There are a total of 131 excess positions between Montour SES, Brunner Island SES, Susquehanna SES, and Susquehanna’s Allentown office.

The reductions are intended to further reduce operating costs at the three plants and help keep them competitive in a prolonged period of low power prices and declining margins, a Talen spokespeson said when contacted by GenerationHub.

No later than Aug. 2, IBEW Local 1600 will notify the company of the names of the displaced employees. Eventually meetings will be held with affected employees to explain the process and help them understand “what their options for selecting other positions may be,” according to the IBEW posting.

“We understand this is a stressful time for employees, but we ask that employees have patience as the Company and the Union work through this process, to remain focused on your work, not be distracted, and to work safely.” The letter, posted online, was submitted by the union official, Knoebel, along with Talen Energy Director of Employee and Labor Relations Dana Miller.

Talen is in the process of seeking regulatory approval to be sold to private equity investor Riverstone Holdings LLC, which is already a major investor in the independent power producer.

Local 1600 IBEW is a chartered Local Union located in Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania, whose jurisdiction is primarily of an electrical utility property nature, according to the union’s website.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.