The top boss at Progress Energy will meet with employees on Wednesday morning in Raleigh to discuss the utility's proposed union with Duke Energy.
The meeting with Progress CEO Bill Johnson was scheduled for today, but was delayed because of the winter weather. Spokesman Mike Hughes declined to comment on where or when the meeting will happen.
On Thursday, Johnson and Duke CEO Jim Rogers will meet with workers in downtown Charlotte. That meeting is scheduled to be held from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Knight Theater in Charlotte, the companies reported in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.
Johnson and Rogers need support among the companies' thousands of workers, even though employees face several years of uncertainty about their future.
"We anticipate there will be job reductions at both companies as we merge operations in the years ahead," the companies wrote in a memo to Duke workers that was included in the SEC filing. "At this point, we do not have a predetermined number or goal.
"In the future when positions are eliminated, the companies will provide severance benefits for eligible employees who are not placed in the new organization," they wrote.
An integration team led by A.R. Mullinax, chief information officer at Duke, and Paula Sims, senior vice president of corporate development and improvement at Progress, will develop a plan "to consolidate functions where it makes financial and operational sense."
“The merger will mean change for all of us and it’s easy to get distracted by that,” Mullinax said in the memo. “I ask that all employees remain focused on achieving their current objectives and meeting the needs of our customers.”
No cuts will happen until the merger is approved, a process that is expected to take about a year. After that, job reductions will be phased in over several years.
On a conference call Monday, Johnson and Rogers said they would seek to eliminate jobs through attrition and retirements first, but would consider buyout offers if necessary.
Johnson, 57, will become CEO of the combined company. Rogers, 63, will be chairman. The company will be based on Charlotte, but officials say they expect to significant operations in Raleigh.