Ormet union asks Kasich to help save 600 jobs

Ormet steelworkers ask Kasich to help resolve energy conflict that threatens 600 Ohio jobs

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The United Steelworkers say Gov. John Kasich can help save 600 jobs in southeast Ohio by intervening in an electricity conflict between aluminum maker Ormet Corp. and state utility regulators.

Ormet has proceeded with "full curtailment" of its Hannibal, Ohio, operations after the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio partially rejected its energy transition plan last week. The company's request to continue operating while building an onsite natural-gas power plant was declined.

A statement on Ormet's website says the decision makes it impossible for the company to escape bankruptcy. Commissioners allowed Ormet to defer electricity bills through December. It filed bankruptcy in February.

The steelworkers' union asked Kasich to urge Ormet, PUCO and American Electric Power to negotiate a compromise.

Kasich's spokesman says the state wants Ormet to succeed and previously has given it a more than $300 million subsidy.

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