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Despite winter storm, Penelec lockout continues
By: WJAC Web Staff
ALTOONA, Pa. -- Despite the ongoing winter storm affecting west-central Pennsylvania, the lockout between a local energy company and union employees continued Tuesday.
More than 140 union employees from Penelec, owned by First Energy Corp., have been locked out of their jobs in Altoona since Monday after negotiations over a new contract broke down.
Penelec officials said despite the lockout, there are plans in place to continue service to customers should the weather conditions cause power outages or other disruptions.
We have an additional 25 contractors coming in [Wednesday] or maybe even late today, theyre in route, said Penelec President Scott Wyman. We also have 40 or so contractors on standby and we can call them and get them on the road.
Since the lockout, Penelec has been relying on supervisors and managers to maintain operations. Officials said the company has more than 100 people working Tuesday.
Of course with the company the size of First Energy, we have the opportunity to reach across all operating companies, Wyman said.
Union employees, represented by the Utility Workers Union of America, said the main points in contention with a new contract include pensions and scheduling. Employees were continuing to picket outside of the Penelec offices on Plank Road.