FirstEnergy faces labor charges over closed plants

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - The National Labor Relations Board has charged FirstEnergy Corp. with unfair labor practices related to the closing of two coal-fired power plants in southwestern Pennsylvania in October.

The board brought the charges on behalf of Utility Workers Union of America Local 102 which represented workers at the Mitchell and Hatfield’s Ferry power plants.

The workers contend Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy refused to bargain over severance benefits at the closed plants unless the union local, which represents 850 workers in three states, agreed to a new contract including benefit concessions and language enabling the company to amend or end benefits at any time.

FirstEnergy officials declined to comment on the specific allegations, which will be heard by an administrative law judge in Pittsburgh on July 22. Spokesman Todd Myers says the company is confident the judge will rule for FirstEnergy.

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