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39 Infrastructure 1 (1999-2000)

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VOL. 39, NO. 1 FALL 1999

The Labor Law
Implications of Utility
Industry Deregulation
By Robert A. Dufek
Introduction
Deregulation in the utility industry has ushered in a new era of price pressure and
dynamic compctition. lTlcsc compctitlvc prcssurcs arc driving a radical restructur-
ing of tile utility Industry, characterized by a staggering number of mergers and
acquisitions, asset divestitures,and new regional transmission organizations. labor
and employment laws play a critical and complictting role in these transactions;
accordngly it Is important that utility companies devclop a long-term labor rcla.
tions plan before embarking on any form of corporate reorganlation. The failure
to do so can lead to costly litigation, debilitating inefficiencies, and devastating
workforce disruptions.
In creating a long-term labor relations plan, history serves as a useful guide.
Deregulation in the utility Industry is likely to follow the course of deregulation in
the airline, railroad, trucking, and telecommunications Industries. One of the most
powerful catalysts for change will be tle entry of new, generally nonunion, conipa-
nies Into the Industry. In order to remain competitive, established companies-
(Coniultcd on page 14.)

CHECK
TOUT!L
Committee
Reports on the
Section's Website:
www.abanet.org/
pubutil/home.html
U Eivironmental
Consequences of
Electric Utility
Industry
Restructuring
*'U Hidden Tax Costs of
Electric Deregulation
Restructurings
0 NRCApproval
Process for Transfer
of NRC Licences
* Leadership Profiles
E People Watch

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