The community is coming together to help support Erie Coke Corp. employees who are out of jobs following an abrupt announcement by the company Thursday that it was shutting down operations there following a series of environmental compliance issues that had corporate lawyers sparring with regulators in a protracted legal battle over air emissions, and later, with local authorities over wastewater.
On Sunday, the City of Erie tweeted that because of several requests from the community, City Hall would be open and ready to accept donations from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today (Monday, Dec. 23) and from 8:30 a.m. to noon tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 24).
“You can leave your donations at the greeter’s desk, and we’ll make sure the workers get them,” the city’s tweet read.
Checks can be made payable to USW local 3199. Donations of gifts, gift cards, food, or “whatever moves you” will be accepted.
City officials said that further questions on how to help support workers can be directed t0 the USW’s Todd Clary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The announcement from the City of Erie came after a statement was released by Erie Council regarding Erie Coke Corp’s decision to close its doors. Council was clear: There’s no one to blame for the closure except Erie Coke itself.
The statement, which was published in its entirety by Erie News Now, read in part:
“The decision by Erie Coke to close its doors does not demonstrate the kind of corporate responsibility Erie Countians expect from employers in our region. Municipal governments throughout Erie County have been more than patient in waiting for Erie Coke to comply with basic environmental regulations over the past 22 years.Erie County Council is greatly concerned for the 137 workers who are now out of a job. While some might be tempted to blame municipal governments for this closure, the responsibility is with Erie Coke. Erie County government and all other municipal governments are charged with protecting the health and welfare of our citizens. Demanding the Erie Coke put the health of Erie County citizens before its own profits is not unreasonable, it is moral.”
To read more about Erie Council’s response to the closure, click here to read coverage from Erie News Now.
To read about why a Pennsylvania judge froze $1 million in Erie Coke Corp.’s assets, click here for coverage from GoErie.com.
To read more about how wastewater issues stymied the company, click here for coverage from GoErie.com.
To read more about how Erie Coke Corp. will shut down the plant, click here for coverage from GoErie.com.