UE Local 610 Authorizes Wabtec Strike in the Face of Plant Closing Threat

April 22, 2022

Union proposals to reinvest in historic plant met with demand for concessions, despite huge profits

For more information contact:
Ben Wilson, UE Field Organizer
(412) 935 7545 | ben.wilson@ueunion.org

The membership of UE Local 610, which represents workers at the Wabtec facilities in Wilmerding and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, voted unanimously yesterday to authorize a strike as they seek a fair contract that guarantees a future of family-sustaining jobs.

“It has been the blood, sweat, and tears of the workers and community of Wilmerding that built the foundation of the corporate giant that is now Wabtec. Wilmerding is this company’s flagship site,” said UE Local 610 President Antwon Gibson.

“The company boasts of its corporate sustainability principles. During its investor conference this March, Wabtec proclaimed their commitment to ‘investing in the communities where our teams live and work.’ We demand that the company honor these commitments.”

“Rather than abandon the workers and Wilmerding community, Wabtec must keep the plant open, bring work in, and maintain family-sustaining jobs in Southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Wabtec, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, has been threatening to close their Wilmerding plant and move product lines out of Greensburg since March. On Monday, April 18, the company announced its intent to close the Wilmerding plant.

The company is demanding concessions, including sweeping rights to change employee work schedules, despite boasting of huge profits and increased demand in the railroad industry.

“Our members have taken serious risks working through a global pandemic in support of the business,” said UE Local 610 Vice President Jeff Kohler. “Not only did our members assume those risks, but in turn, our members’ families. Our members deserve real and material recognition for taking those risks, not threats of a plant closing.”

The Wilmerding plant was built in 1889, and UE Local 610 has represented workers there since 1937.

Local 610 will be holding a “Defend Our Jobs and Community” rally on Saturday, April 30, the day before their contract expires, at 11am at Wilmerding Park on Westinghouse Ave.

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