By rejecting a labor contract that amounts to corporate extortion, Penelec's unionized workers have taken a stand.
The lockout is unfair and unjust with Penelec and FirstEnergy's main aim to deny future generations many of the same benefits that have built the middle class.
It is a remarkable act of courage and solidarity that UWUA members at Penelec have rejected a contract that would limit work rights, reduce benefits, erode family life and restrict the fringe benefits of younger workers.
Over the years, Penelec workers have negotiated, through their union, good pay, pensions, health benefits and work rules aimed at maximizing customer service, particularly during electricity outages.
But now FirstEnergy is attempting to blackmail union members and the communities of Altoona, Lewistown and Shippensburg alike with cost-cutting detrimental to us all.
The bold move by workers to reject cutbacks, both benefit-wise and service-related, is an encouraging move that says union members care about their communities and future generations.
(The writer has a family member working for Penelec.)