Today in Labor History Aug. 14, 2003 The Northeast of the United States and Canada experienced a massive blackout, which affected 50 million people. Initially concerned that it could be a terrorist attack, it soon became clear that it was the failure of Ohio-based First Energy Corporation to maintain its portion of the electrical grid. In a statement following the costly blackout, the Utility Workers Union of America called on Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission to investigate the industry’s maintenance practices and urged the state legislature to revise its deregulation laws that led to lax standards and mass layoffs of line workers. ~ Voices of Labor
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