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Economy and Business


FirstEnergy lockout begins this morning in Pa.
More than 150 Penelac workers will be locked out this morning after rejecting contract.
Story by LAUREN SCHMOLL


 

A lockout is expected to begin this morning at FirstEnergy’s Penelec division in Pennsylvania.

Union workers rejected a contract on Sunday. They had been working without one since the end of August, and negotiating since May.

The rejected contract was FirstEnergy’s “best offer” and included an 8 percent raise, but stopped payments toward retiree’s health programs, something FirstEnergy says is happening across the board.

LISTEN: Penelac lockout

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FirstEnergy ppokesman Scott Surgeoner says the company is prepared to sit down and talk with union leaders, but stands by this last contract offer as best and final.

FirstEnergy says managers and supervisors will handle the work of the 142 union employees, and customers will see no effect.

The president of Utility Workers of America System Local 102 told the Akron Beacon Journal the union was willing to continue talks despite turning down the contract. He says it is bad time for a lockout with the upcoming holidays and a potential ice storm headed for the region.

The affected employees are Penelec line and substation workers, meter readers and technicians in Altoona, Huntington, Lewistown and Shippensburg.

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