Business Briefs: Amid electricity cost woes, suppliers face complaints

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Amid electricity cost woes, suppliers face complaints

Penn­syl­va­nia has filed com­plaints against five out-of-state elec­tric gen­er­a­tion sup­pli­ers be­fore the state Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion af­ter con­sum­ers com­plained their elec­tric­ity costs in­creased by as much as 300 per­cent. The com­plaints, filed jointly by the state Bureau of Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion and the Of­fice of Con­sumer Ad­vo­cate, ask the PUC to sus­pend or re­voke the li­censes of the fol­low­ing sup­pli­ers and im­pose civil pen­al­ties, as well as pro­vide ap­pro­pri­ate res­ti­tu­tion in­clud­ing any nec­es­sary re­funds: Energy Ser­vices Pro­vid­ers Inc., which does busi­ness as Penn­syl­va­nia Gas & Elec­tric; IDT Energy Inc.; Re­spond Power LLC; Hiko Energy LLC; and Blue Pilot Energy LLC.

Scores of PAAW workers walk out over contract

About 150 union­ized work­ers with the Penn­syl­va­nia Amer­i­can Water Co. have walked off the job in what the Util­ity Work­ers Union of Amer­ica Lo­cal 537 char­ac­ter­izes as a lockout. The work­ers were pick­et­ing at four Penn­syl­va­nia Amer­i­can work sites this week, in­clud­ing the plant along Becks Run Road in Bald­win. Penn­syl­va­nia Amer­i­can, a sub­sid­i­ary of Amer­i­can Water, says it im­posed a “last, best and fi­nal” con­tract of­fer June 9, af­ter three years of un­fruit­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions. “Con­trary to the pick­eters’ sign­age, [there] is no lock­out and em­ploy­ees are urged to re­port for work,” the com­pany said. The UWUA, which is fight­ing out­sourc­ing and is seek­ing job se­cu­rity pro­tec­tions, says the con­tract im­po­si­tion qual­i­fies as a change in work­ing con­di­tions “with­out bar­gain­ing in good faith,” pre­cip­i­tat­ing its walkout.

Lyft, Uber representatives head to Harrisburg hearing

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ride-shar­ing com­pa­nies Lyft and Uber are ex­pected to ap­pear at a hear­ing be­fore the Penn­syl­va­nia House In­sur­ance Com­mit­tee in Har­ris­burg on Mon­day. The com­pa­nies have run afoul of the state Pub­lic Util­ity Com­mis­sion, which views them as il­le­gal op­er­a­tions. A sep­a­rate hear­ing next week in Pitts­burgh will de­ter­mine whether the PUC’s re­quest for a cease-and-de­sist or­der against the com­pa­nies will pro­ceed. The Penn­syl­va­nia In­sur­ance Depart­ment has said that per­sonal in­sur­ance pol­i­cies do not cover ve­hi­cles be­ing used as ride-shar­ing ser­vices.

Ra­dioShack slips to be­low $1 per share

Ra­dioShack’s stock is trad­ing be­low $1 per share for the first time in its his­tory — and has the in­vest­ment world won­der­ing if it will even­tu­ally be delisted. Shares of Ra­dioShack Corp. fell 11 cents, or 10.43 per­cent, to 92 cents in Fri­day trad­ing. The New York Stock Ex­change could delist the stock if it closes be­low $1 per share for 30 con­sec­u­tive trad­ing days. The stock is well be­low its all-time high of $79.50 set in Decem­ber 1999.

Star­bucks hik­ing prices on drinks, bagged cof­fee

Star­bucks is rais­ing prices on some of its drinks by 5 cents to 20 cents start­ing Tues­day, and cus­tom­ers can also soon ex­pect to pay $1 more for the pack­aged cof­fee it sells in su­per­mar­kets. In March, CEO Howard Schultz said dur­ing an in­ter­view with Fox Busi­ness that Star­bucks had no in­ten­tions of rais­ing its prices.

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