Senator Reschenthaler Criticizes Gov. Wolf’s Political Statements to Laid Off State Employees, Demands Explanation

(HARRISBURG, PA) – Today, State Senator Guy Reschenthaler (R-37) called on Governor Tom Wolf to explain comments he made to Labor and Industry employees during a video conference on November 21, 2016.

“The Governor made some extraordinarily political statements during the video call with the UC call center employees who had recently been informed they were to be laid off,” Reschenthaler explained. “I think that he owes those employees and the rest of Pennsylvania an explanation as to what he meant.”

During the video call with the employees, the Governor stated, “This is the consequence of elections. This is what happens when we don’t get the people that we want.” Click here for a video recording of that statement.

“All along, members of the Senate Republican caucus and I have questioned the necessity, timing, and nature of these call center closures,” Reschenthaler continued. “A statement like the one made in this video simply confirms what we’ve believed all along – this is purely a political game on the Governor’s part. The Governor closed the Altoona call center, which many claim is the most productive and efficient center in the state. This has done nothing but break the entire Unemployment Compensation system for everyone. Additionally, the timing of these closures – just days before Christmas – seemed to be an effort to do nothing more than create political pressure on the General Assembly to bow to the Governor’s wishes.”

Documents provided to the General Assembly, by the Department of Labor and Industry, clearly detail the imminent consolidation of one UC call center and the strong likelihood of closing up to as many as two more centers even with the passage of additional funding this year. Click here for a copy of the Department of Labor and Industry memo detailing the planned closures and consolidations.

“The Governor is showing a severe lack of leadership by placing the blame on election results rather than his and previous administrations’ gross mismanagement of the entire Unemployment Compensation system,” Reschenthaler stated. “Who suffers for this negligence and lack of leadership? It’s the laid off call center employees, it’s those in desperate need of Unemployment Compensation benefits, and every hardworking Pennsylvanian who will pay more in employee UC taxes to fund this avoidable quagmire.”

“This political game has gone on long enough,” concluded Senator Reschenthaler. “I think the Governor owes the citizens of the Commonwealth, and particularly the laid off call center employees, an explanation as to what exactly he meant when he implied that these closings are the result of elections.”

Transcript of Governor Tom Wolf’s remarks:

This is the consequence of elections.

This is what happens when we don’t get the people we want.

It’s not a matter of shaking things up.

It’s not just shaking things up.

It’s people losing their jobs and this is absolutely, positively wrong.

It’s people who are not going to get the service that you are trained and you have been given them and you could have been giving them had you been allowed to do your job.

These people will not get that service.

Elections have consequences. 

CONTACT: Aaron Bonnaure, 717-787-5839