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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 8, 2016 03:34 PM
From: Representative Frank Dermody
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship of Legislation - Temporary Extended Unemployment Benefits
In the near future, I will introduce legislation to provide temporary extended unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own due to a labor lockout and who have exhausted regular unemployment benefits. The legislation would provide benefits that are equal to the weekly unemployment benefit amount of an individual’s most recent unemployment claim, and would apply only to those affected by a lockout.
Currently, a six-month lockout by Allegheny Technologies Inc. has idled more than 1,700 skilled union workers represented by the United Steelworkers union (USW). The steelworkers from western Pennsylvania’s mills in Brackenridge, Vandergrift, Bagdad, Latrobe, and Midland have been stopped from working since last August, their company-paid health care benefit expired in November, and their unemployment benefits are set to expire this month.
Attempts to negotiate a contract were rebuffed by ATI both before and since the lockout. The National Labor Relations Board found merit in complaints filed by the Steelworkers and determined the lockout to be illegal. Even though that decision paves the way for an administrative law judge to work with both parties to encourage a settlement to the dispute, too many workers will continue to suffer pending an agreement.
This lockout and others like it create serious financial stress for many families, merchants and affected communities. As lawmakers, we have the capability to address this problem legislatively. Extending temporary unemployment benefits for those unable to work due to a lockout will ease the burden on the workers and their families who find themselves in such a situation.
Please join me in co-sponsoring and supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1857