Ohio Gov. John Kasich has received a plea for help from some truly desperate people - employees of the Ormet Corp. in Monroe County, along with the families, friends and neighbors who understand what is at stake at the company.
As we have reported, market conditions and higher prices for electricity used to produce aluminum at Ormet have put the company's very survival in jeopardy.
If Ormet goes down, more than 1,000 hard-working men and women will lose their jobs. The entire economy of Monroe County will be wrecked. Adjacent counties in both Ohio and West Virginia will be hurt.
Last week Kasich received a petition signed by 2,566 people, asking him to do what he can to help Ormet with electricity prices. Copies went to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which must approve utilities' rate structures.
What can the governor do to help Ormet? We don't know.
But he should do his utmost to try.
His humble petitioners work hard to earn their daily bread, to support families and communities. No one who has ever been in an Ormet pot room doubts that.
And, down through the years, Ormet workers have agreed to concessions to help their company. A plant that once saw bitter fights between union and management has become a model of cooperation.
The people who work at Ormet, the people who manage the company and those in the communities that rely on the firm have done everything right, at least by the guide that hard work and dedication are the keys to success. Yet failure is on the horizon.
Please help, governor. And know that had the Ormet employees continued their petition drive, they would have received thousands more signatures from throughout the Ohio Valley.