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05/27/2024 08:28 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20150&cosponId=19776
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 1, 2016 02:22 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Temporary Extension of Unemployment Compensation Benefits During a Lock Out
 
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that is a companion bill to House Bill 1857, introduced by Representative Frank Dermody. The bill provides 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 tentative agreement exists between Allegheny Technologies Inc., (ATI), and the more than 1,700 skilled union workers represented by the United Steelworkers union (USW), but it was preceded by a lengthy lock out that brought many employees to the brink. 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 benefits expired in November, and many of their unemployment benefits have also expired.

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 continued to suffer while an agreement was being reached.

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 SB1175