Wisconsin Public Service Corp. could lay off up to 74 workers at its Rothschild and Green Bay power plants a year from now because of increasing regulatory costs, the utility said Friday.So what we have so far is that the power company is threatening to lay off 74 workers for an unidentified regulation which might or might not happen, all because they are using some ancient power plants that they don't want to have to fix up.
The utility is looking at ways to cut expenses tied to environmental regulations associated with running old, inefficient, coal-fired power plants, WPSC spokesman Kerry Spees said. It's possible no workers will be laid off, he said.
"It's not a specific regulation, but as plants get older, they're more expensive to modify to meet whatever changes there are," Spees said.
Of the 74 employees, 16 work at the Rothschild plant, Spees said. The plant currently employs 186 workers.
WPSC is required to give workers from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 310 a 12-month notice of possible layoffs as part of a collective bargaining agreement.
The workers who could be affected run some of the older, less-efficient units, he said. The workers make family-supporting wages, though Spees declined to provide a salary range.
So instead of spending any money and being responsible corporate citizens, they decided to gear up the fear machine by threatening "family-supporting" jobs, but won't verify that they are indeed family-supporting.
They got the desired reaction out of the union, which turned around and asked the EPA to delay these unidentified regulations to give the company time to comply with the mystery regulations.
Of course, this fits in nicely with Scott Walker's talking point about how "excessive" regulations is hampering the creation of the 250,000 jobs he promised but admits he can't deliver on.
|Friendly members of Walker's|
Economic Development Commission
So now they are basically saying that they want no new regulations and a pay increase or the workers get it. Sounds like something you would expect to see in a movie about the mafia. Except that in this case, not only are the gangsters holding up the people and calling the shots, they also are paying off the cops who basically go along with all the demands at the expense of the people being robbed.
It would not be hard to imagine, especially in the spiraling economy Walker has given us, that the folks at WPSC might be hard up and so are forced to take such drastic action. But it would be still only imagination.
Integrys, the parent company of WPSC (as if they weren't big enough already), posted a $35 million dollar profit...in just three months time. But we are supposed to believe they don't have enough money to fix up or replace their dilapidated power plants and so they want the people to pay for it both with their money and their health.
We didn't elect a new governor or legislature last year after all. We were the victims of a racketeering bunch of corporate gangsters.
Which all leads to a pointed question or two: Have you signed a recall petition? And if not, what the hell are you waiting for, Christmas?