The United Steelworkers union
yesterday called on Governor John Kasich to urge the Public Utilities
Commission of Ohio to continue discussions with American Electric Power (AEP)
and Ormet, and negotiate a resolution that will enable the smelter plant in Monroe
County to resume operations.
district director Dave McCall pointed out that the union and secured creditors
have worked with management to reduce the company’s financial liabilities by
almost $300 million, and he disputed the idea that saving more than 700 jobs at
Ormet would increase costs for AEP’s other ratepayers, as has been reported.
McCall says Ormet’s main request is not for subsidies but rather to be free to
purchase electricity from the grid at market price. Since Governor Kasich is a
proponent of a market-based approach, McCall says he should help change what he
calls "AEP’s intransigent and short-sighted behavior, which has made sustainable
operations at Ormet impossible.”
Massive layoffs are expected to begin this week.