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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 1, 2019 01:03 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Extended Workers' Compensation Benefits During Lockouts
Please join me in sponsoring legislation, which was introduced as Senate Bill 378 in the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. The bill would provide temporary extended unemployment benefits for individuals who are unemployed, through no fault of their own, due to a labor lockout, after they have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. The unemployment benefits would be equal to the weekly amount of an individual’s most recent unemployment claim and would apply only to those individuals affected by a lockout.

In 2015, a lengthy lockout by Allegheny Technologies, Inc. (ATI) of 1,700 United Steelworkers (USW) brought many employees and their families to the brink. Steelworkers from Western Pennsylvania mills in Brackenridge, Vandergrift, Bagdad, Latrobe, and Midland were unable to work from August 15, 2015 to March 14, 2016. Their health care benefits and unemployment benefits expired months before the lock-out ended.

Lockouts create serious financial stress for many families, merchants and affected communities. In an effort to ease the burden on workers and their families when similar situations arise, I hope you will join me in supporting this important legislation, which would provide temporary unemployment benefits to individuals during lockouts.

Please join me in supporting this important legislation. The previous co-sponsors of this bill are Senators Brewster, Yudichak, Haywood, Street, Schwank and Hughes.