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Despite layoffs, contract workers recruited for local NRG plants

An NRG facility

Contract workers are being recruited to help maintain NRG Energy power plants in the Houston area even as the company lays off long-time employees as part of its effort to cut costs, shed debt and return the company to profitability.

NRG, which laid off workers in Texas and across the country earlier this week, declined to disclose the number of employees affected by cuts. But plant maintenance workers in the Houston area — some with more than 30 years at NRG — said that at least 80 of them received layoff notices.

The employees also noted that Billeter Recruiting, a Louisiana firm that collects hiring information, is advertising for 100 contract workers to do maintenance during planned shutdowns at W.A. Parish, Cedar Bayou, San Jacinto, Greens Bayou and TH Wharton plants in Texas. Billeter confirmed it collects information on potential hires, but said it is not involved in the hiring process.

The recruiter added that the timing of the ad and the layoffs was just a coincidence.

NRG would not confirm that it is hiring contract workers. The laid-off workers, who requested anonymity to protect their severance pay, said the job posting on Billeter’s website is advertising for the jobs they did.

NRG employees from coast to coast lost their jobs earlier this week during a company-wide layoff, part of an effort the company announced last month to divest up to $4 billion in assets. NRG would not say how many employees lost their jobs.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 66, the Houston-area union for some of the employees, did not return calls requesting comment. Another Beaumont-area union, IBEW Local 2286, said around 24 of its members work at an NRG gas-fired plant, but their jobs were unaffected.

This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more click here.

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