Last Updated on February 8, 2016 by cassnetwork
Mayor Dave Kitchell announced late this afternoon that the employees who received notices of their termination by Utilities Superintendent Paul Hartman will be eligible for the same severance money other employees will be offered. Additionally, they will receive health insurance for the time being.
Both employees were terminated because they were not senior employees with LMU’s now-closed generating plant which had employed 31 union workers before EPA regulations forced it to shut down at the end of last month.
“I think it’s fair to say after discussing the situation with Utility Service Board President Dan Slusser and Mr. Hartman that rescinding the firings was the best course of action at this point,” Kitchell said. “I’m disappointed in the way it was handled because the Mayor’s Office was not advised that any employees would be leaving LMU’s employ before April 1. Since December, I have maintained that we want to keep LMU employees affected by the generating plant closing on the job as long as possible. We want to help working families. While LMU employees may have accepted positions knowing the generating plant could be shut down, we’ve pledged to work with them and will continue to do that. While an estimated eight employees will be absorbed in other positions by LMU, we will continue to pursue a new power plant and preserve the LMU workforce. Some workers may opt to pursue other endeavors, and they are within their rights to do it.”