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Labor unions flip, throw support to Kemper power plant

KEMPER COUNTY — In exchange for the promise of 1,000 jobs, a group of labor unions is throwing its support behind Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County coal plant.

The unions had most recently opposed the plant because contractors for Atlanta-based Southern Co. were excluding union members from the $2.8 billion project, which currently employs 2,600 construction workers.

Yesterday, union leaders attacked former ally the Sierra Club, which continues to oppose the coal-fired plant, saying the environmental group’s opposition could cost worker jobs and ratepayer money.

It’s another in a series of clashes between proxies for Atlanta-based Southern Co. and the Sierra Club. Monday, the club hit former Gov. Haley Barbour for not disclosing that he was lobbying for Southern Co. when he sent letters to newspaper editors attacking the club.

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