How to survive in a seller's market.
Divesting power plants today may look very much like a seller's market. Buyers may believe they lack the necessary leverage to take an aggressive position on workforce transition.
In fact, to secure union support, and thereby restrict buyer flexibility, several recent plant sales have imposed all or some of the following conditions:
• Buyer must recognize the union as the authorized bargaining agent;
• Buyer must adopt the collective bargaining agreement for the existing term, which may have been recently extended in anticipation of the sale;
• Buyer must provide "equivalent" or otherwise duplicate existing pension and welfare benefit plans, providing full credit for service, vesting and eligibility purposes; and
• Buyer must offer comparable employment to all current plant employees, including those on long-term disability.
Such conditions have been imposed in part or whole in the Commonwealth Edison State Line sale, the Central Maine Power sale, the Boston Edison sale and the New England Electric System sale. They also have been required of bidders by Montana Power Company and New York State Electric and Gas, to name just a few.