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VIDEO: Picketers at Constellation HQ protest merger with Exelon

constellation merger protest wh

Demonstrators from the group Good Jobs, Better Baltimore yesterday protested the merger of Constellation Energy and Exelon.

Photo by: William Hughes

Dressed in Halloween costumes and bearing a giant pumpkin filled with ratepayer complaints, about 100 people picketed the downtown Baltimore headquarters of Constellation Energy Group (CEG) yesterday, to protest a planned $7.9 billion purchase by Exelon Corp. – a merger they said would claim local jobs and cause Baltimore Gas & Electric customers’ rates to increase.

“If the merger happens, it’s going to take jobs away from here,” said Monica Jones, a protester who dressed in a Marilyn Monroe-style white dress and sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” to CEG CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III, the target of much protesters’ ire.

Shattuck and other company higher-ups are eligible to receive more than $36 million in cash severance and equity awards if the merger of Chicago-based energy giant Exelon and Constellation (which owns Baltimore Gas & Electric) goes through. Shattuck himself could come away with a third of that sum – about $12.4 million.

Jones and others attending the protest (organized by Good Jobs Better Baltimore and attended by some of the nearby Occupy Baltimore participants) said allowing CEG to be swallowed by an out-of-town corporation would make BGE even less responsive to ratepayer needs than it has been since deregulation by the Maryland legislature in 1999.

“We need [re]regulation so we can take back control of our bills,” said Jones.

Organizers urged the crowd to attend the hearings the Maryland Public Service Commission has scheduled to review the Constellation-Exelon merger, beginning on Oct. 31. Shattuck and Exelon President and COO Christopher Crane are scheduled to testify on the first day of the hearings. The protesters vowed to be there.

“Is this the last Mayo Shattuck has heard of us?” said Vanessa Johnson, director of Good Jobs Better Baltimore. “No!” the crowd replied.

“Are we going to fight a corporate greed merger and make sure BGE is good to its customers?” “Yes!” they shouted.

-Video and photo by William Hughes.

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  • UpperFells

    I wonder how many of those protestors are being paid by SEIU to be there. 

    • Go Ravens!

      None. 

      • UpperFells

        Is “Good Jobs Better Baltimore” not a front for SEIU?  Don’t SEIU and other unions regularly pay people to protest?  

        If utility regulation is so great, then why haven’t O’Malley and the legislature re-instituted it?  The greedy Republicans can’t stop them. Did SEIU not support O’Malley in the last election?  Why isn’t he doing the best thing for the people of the state of Maryland? 

        These protesters are a farce.  They don’t know what they’re protesting other than they don’t like to pay for electricity. I don’t like losing another Baltimore company, but coverage of this group of paid troublemakers shows The Brew’s political slant. 

        • elivator

          Unions were formed bceause greedybusiness owners didn’t care for the health and welfare of their employees.  Ever since their inception business has been trying to rid OF unions. Unions have set the standard for pay and benefits not only for Union members but non union workers as well. You are either a business leader or have a decent paying job and think you got there on your own….Take a look how corporations exploit workers in other countries… WHY? because they can!!!

  • UpperFells

    I wonder how many of those protestors are being paid by SEIU to be there. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/daniel.lory.ewald Daniel E

    “Shattuck and other company higher-ups are eligible to receive more than $36 million in cash severance and equity awards… Shattuck himself could come away with a third of that sum – about $12.4 million.”  Why the hell are they getting all that money? For running BGE into the ground? 

    Meanwhile workers can expect lower wages while consumers get rate hikes to pay for these bonuses. 

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