Wabtec Workers to Rally at Shareholders Meeting

May 16, 2019

Concession demands will “derail” company, local economies, say workers

When: Friday, May 17, 10:30am-12:30pm
Where: The Duquesne Club, 325 6th Avenue, Pittsburgh

For more information contact:
Jonathan Kissam, UE Communications Director
(802) 343 1745 | jkissam@ueunion.org

Wabtec workers will rally at the company's shareholder meeting in downtown Pittsburgh on Friday to protest the company continuing to demand steep wage cuts for new workers, or a “two-tier” wage system, from the Erie workers who build their locomotives.

“These demands represent a failed business model that threatens both Wabtec’s profitability and Erie’s economy,” says Local 506 President Scott Slawson. “The future of advanced manufacturing lies in high-skill workforces with family-sustaining wages like UE members in Erie, not in chasing low wages around the country and around the globe.”

The Erie plant was profitable under the terms of the UE-GE contract, with GE Transportation consistently seeing profits of 16 percent and higher over the past five years. Wabtec will already realize an additional $17 million in annual profit from the elimination of the defined benefit pension and retiree health insurance for Erie workers.

UE members in Erie are working under the terms of an interim agreement that settled a nine-day strike in March, and which expires on June 3. UE Locals 506 and 618 are currently negotiating with Wabtec for a new contract to cover the workforce in Erie. In May, UE Local 610 settled a contract with Wabtec for workers in Wilmerding and Greensburg which contained no concessions.

“UE members are willing to work with Wabtec to bargain a contract that will keep the company profitable and good jobs in Erie,” says UE Local 618 Business Agent Janet Gray. “But as they demonstrated in February and March of this year, our members are not willing to sell out future generations of Erie workers.”

- 30 -