Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) issued the following statement in regards to 1,400 WARN Act notices being sent out today to employees at the decontamination and decommissioning project in Piketon:
Today, 1,400 WARN Act notices were sent to employees at the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) project in Piketon. Notices were also sent to community and government leaders where employees reside. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act is a United States labor law which requires most employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 day advance notice of plant closings and mass layoffs of employees.
“For the third consecutive year, the Department of Energy (DOE) has put jobs at risk and jeopardized the decontamination and decommissioning efforts in Piketon, despite the commitment of the Obama Administration to clean-up the site in preparation for reindustrialization,” Bill Johnson said. “I hoped that the continued uncertainty experienced by the Piketon community would not repeat itself this year. Then presidential candidate Barack Obama stated in 2008, ‘the failure to clean up this site quickly will delay future economic development opportunities and only add additional costs and pose undue environmental risks.’ We now have yet another broken promise by the Obama Administration.”
This environmental clean-up and restoration work employs 1,950 individuals and is critically important to the economy of southern Ohio. But, by refusing to request adequate funding to maintain the site, DOE announced it has plans to lay off up to 500 Ohio workers and up to 70 sub-contractor jobs.
Johnson added, “Along with my colleagues in the Ohio Congressional Delegation, I will continue to make every effort to protect the site and current jobs, and ensure the project has the funding it needs to uphold the promise the federal government made. We are ready to work with the Administration again this year on funding, but we need a willing partner to work with.”