An economic impact study released today by UE Local 506 on Thursday, February 28, shows that the negative economic impact of the wage reductions demanded by Wabtec in Erie, PA would total about the same amount as Wabtec Chief Executive Officer Raymond Betler’s corporate merger bonus package.
Upon completion of the merger with GE transportation, a $16 million payment will be made to its CEO, Raymond Betler, and over $43 million in compensation to 19 other executives.
The study, conducted by nationally recognized firm Parker Philips, shows that proposed wage reductions of 40% would result in a loss in direct and induced wages of $17.1 million, 82 more local jobs, and a ripple effect of $11 million in economic loss to the economy.
“If Wabtec has enough money to reward over $120 million to executives at its company and General Electric, it damn well has enough money to honor the existing union contract with workers in Erie, Pennsylvania,” said United States Senator Bernie Sanders. “What is happening in Erie is the continuation of corporate greed pure and simple. Our job is to end Wabtec’s greed and make sure the company treats its workers with respect and dignity.”
“This analysis shows that one person’s treasure is entire region’s tragedy,” said Scott Slawson, President of Local 506. “Unless Mr. Betler plans to spend his entire bonus package in Erie County, these proposed wage cuts would be a major hit to our local economy—particularly small businesses fueled in part by the hard-earned wages of Erie’s extraordinary skilled labor force. This report further fuels our resolve to stand up for our local economy and working families across the region.”
“Our analysis shows that the wage cuts under discussion are relatively small compared to the total economic output of Wabtec,” said Nichole Parker, Principal Partner, Parker Philips. “An analysis of the wage reductions clearly demonstrates that UE 506 workers and the local businesses that they support will bear the brunt of any wage cutbacks.”