Welcome to the unemployment line!  Furloughs are on the way for many, in fact about one-quarter of the workers at a coal-fired power plant will be furloughed for up to 90 days; This is after an equipment failure shut down on one of the generating units. That is not good news folks. Mandatory leave starts in September.

The problem?  The generating unit.

PPL Montana is starting mandatory leave for 36 workers on Sept. 14. The furloughs will last at least one month and up to three months, and the generating unit isn’t expected to be operational until 2014!

Wow, why so long?  The cause of the failure remains under investigation.

The employees will receive state unemployment benefits, but will still receive their PPL Montana benefits, including health care which is really good news for those affected.

Union business manager Rex Rogers says the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1638 agreed to accept furloughs in a May 2012 contract rather than being required to work weekends with no overtime.