In a wide-ranging and ongoing effort to pressure FirstEnergy to continue to provide health care coverage for approximately 50 retired UWUA members and former FirstEnergy employees, Local 223 leadership have taken to city councils from Avon to the Pennsylvania state line, introducing resolutions that would bring the voice of local people and local government into this fight.
So far, Local 223 has been extremely successful, securing resolutions from city councils in Newburgh Heights, Garfield Heights, North Royalton and Lakewood, and a letter of support from Cuyahoga County Council. On Tuesday, Local 223 Vice President Chris Ericksen spoke before the Brook Park City Council introducing a resolution that will be on the February 21st agenda.
“Chris Ericksen, vice president of the utility workers union, spoke to council during its Feb. 14 caucus and explained the union represents transmission, distribution and generation workers for The Illuminating Company, which is part of FirstEnergy. There are approximately 50 retirees in this area that would be affected by FirstEnergy’s decision to cease the healthcare subsidy beginning April 30, he said.”
“A resolution is a message that workers’ and retirees’ well-being is more than just a business decision,” Ericksen said. “We are not asking for full coverage but only that (FirstEnergy) fulfill their responsibility in continuing to share in the cost of retired people’s medical coverage.”