FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 26th, 4:45pm
CONTACT: Julie Ferris, C 443-935-3536, Julie.Ferris@goodjobsbetterbaltimore.org
Community members confront Constellation CEO Mayo Shattuck III to say Baltimore won’t be tricked! No merger deal without real protections for jobs, BGE customers.
BALTIMORE — On Wednesday, October 26th, BGE customers and community members with the grassroots group Good Jobs Better Baltimore descended on Constellation headquarters in full Halloween spirit with a 30 piece marching band and five foot jack-o-lantern to confront CEO Mayo Shattuck III. Organizers say the giant pumpkin, stuffed with thousands of petitions from BGE ratepayers, was made to deliver a message to Mayo Shattuck and Constellation: this Halloween Baltimore won’t be tricked by false promises about the proposed Constellation Exelon merger.
“I’m here because I care about the future of my city. What happens with this merger will affect our everyday survival as Baltimore residents and we don’t want to see jobs and protections for BGE customers stripped away” said Monica Jones, a nursing home worker, mother of three, and life long resident of Baltimore. Jones was joined by more than 100 community members and BGE customers, some in costume, who showed up to make the special Halloween delivery to Constellation headquarters.
As the gargantuan gourd rolled through the doorway at Constellation, representatives from Good Jobs Better Baltimore were also filing rebuttal testimony with Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) in response to testimony filed by Constellation and Exelon representatives earlier this month defending the merger. Good Jobs Better Baltimore has presented an $810 million community workforce proposal that could create more than 1,000 new green jobs in Baltimore through EmPOWER Maryland, a green jobs program, protect existing jobs at Constellation, and provide real rate relief for BGE customers through a $500 one time credit and provisions for re-regulation.
The controversial merger deal has faced strong opposition since hearings began at the PSC in June, with many individuals and groups including Good Jobs Better Baltimore and EDF, Constellation’s largest shareholder and nuclear partner, filing testimony as intervenors. Intervenors have cited weak protections for BGE customers, job loss when the companies’ combined headquarters move to Chicago, and the supersize pay of Constellation CEO Mayo Shattuck, who received $15.7 million in compensation in 2010 even though Constellation lost nearly $1 billion last year, as major concerns.
Good Jobs Better Baltimore is a coalition of community organizations, unions and religious groups uniting to build an economy that works for everyone in our city.
Building upon the tradition of Labor Day telethons, Good Jobs Better Baltimore held a “TELL-A-Thon” yesterday to keep pressure on Constellation Energy about its potential merger with Chicago-based Exelon.
Earlier this month, we met with CEO Mayo Shattuck to discuss our vision for Baltimore’s energy future. One that includes a $810 million dollar investment in the community. He heard our stories and listened to our proposal, but failed to make any guarantees about jobs protections or rate relief.
It seemed like a positive meeting; however, we have yet to hear anything from him or his staff since.
While we wait to hear from CEO Shattuck again, there have been some unfortunate developments. Exelon’s president, Chris Crane, said the “most impactful” job cuts would be in Baltimore and Hurricane Irene has cut power to thousands of BGE customers for days on end. People are angry and would like Constellation executives to know about it.
That’s why we gathered in front of Constellation headquarters to make our voices heard once again. No merger without job protections, new job growth, and real rate relief.
During the event, Baltimore residents gathered around a soapbox to hear stories. People talked about power outages in their neighborhood; keeping jobs in Baltimore and creating new ones; the hardships associated with high BGE bills; and how CEO Mayo Shattuck’s potential $20 million payout from the merger is almost impossible to comprehend when people are struggling to put food on the table.
Stay tuned for future events as the Public Service Commission continues to review the merger this fall.