Harkins, Delloso, Maligari statement on layoff of 500 Pennsylvania Turnpike workers

ERIE, June 2 – In response to news that the cashless, electronic toll system the Pennsylvania Turnpike implemented in March will become permanent — resulting in the immediate layoff of about 500 workers – state Rep. Pat Harkins released the following statement, also on behalf of Teamster President and state Rep. Dave Delloso, D-Delaware, and Teamster member and state Rep. Steve Malagari, D-Montgomery.

“This is heartbreaking. The governor and the Turnpike Commission had an agreement with the toll takers to phase out operations in 2022, but in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission voted to do away with these workers immediately.

“These workers were expecting to return to work soon and were caught completely off guard. They understood that their jobs were being phased out, but they were led to believe that they would have time to plan ahead, and they were relying on that assurance. Instead, they had the rug pulled out from under them.

“This could have been done as a phased response on a shorter timeline. It didn’t have to happen overnight.”