Congresswoman Summer Lee Joins Striking Erie Locomotive Workers to Rally at Wabtec Corporate HQ in Pittsburgh

July 6, 2023

Lee, Other Political, Labor, Environmental and Faith Leaders Join Workers Striking for Good Family-Supporting Jobs Making Green Locomotives

For more information contact:
Jonathan Kissam, UE Communications Director
(802) 343 1745 |

Striking members of UE Locals 506 and 618, who build locomotives at Wabtec’s plant in Erie, PA, rallied outside Wabtec’s corporate headquarters on Pittsburgh’s North Shore this afternoon. They were joined by hundreds of supporters including Congresswoman Summer Lee, other political leaders, members of other unions, faith leaders, local environmental activists, and other allies from the Pittsburgh community.

“I want to thank you all so much for waging the fight,” Congresswoman Lee told the crowd. “We know that companies like Wabtec are never going to move unless we the people move them. We are sending a message to Wabtec and every other company & corporation in western PA that Pittsburgh is a union town. We're going to let them know how strong our movement really is — this is how we're going to win the green jobs of the future.”

“This is 1400 families affected by boardroom greed at its worst,” said UE Local 506 Financial Secretary Bryan Pietrzak, who spoke for the union at the rally. “We are fighting an onslaught of union-busting tactics from the notorious Jones Day law firm, we are fighting for a family-sustaining wage for new hires, we are fighting to maintain our healthcare, vision, and dental insurances, and lastly we are fighting for company accountability by restoring our right to strike over grievances.”

Pietrzak also noted that “It is a shame that, because of this company’s greed, we are having to fight with them, instead of working with them to build the green locomotives that are essential to our country’s climate future. In negotiations, we proposed to do just that, because green locomotive production would bring thousands of good, quality jobs into Erie and Western Pennsylvania. But the company flat-out refused.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, who was unable to attend the rally, gave a statement of support: “I support the workers of UE Locals 506 and 618 in their fight for the green jobs of the future. I encourage Wabtec, as a company headquartered in our city, to prioritize investing in good, family-supporting green jobs. This city has always been a union town, it is something we believe in. We can never forget our history. Western PA is the backbone of the middle class movement through our unions. It is the reason why the UE is fighting for good, green, clean jobs and the future economy of America. Let's support the UE and continue to do what's necessary to support the UE in their fight for good green clean jobs.”

The 1400 members of UE Locals 506 and 618 have been on strike since June 22, demanding that Wabtec invest in good, family-supporting jobs making green locomotives at the Erie plant.

Photos and video of the rally are available upon request.

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