On June 22, after nearly two months of negotiations, the 1,400 members of UE Locals 506 and 618 voted down Wabtec’s last, best and final offer. Ten weeks later, they ratified a new contract that “represents a substantial improvement over what Wabtec had on the table in June,” according to Local 506 President Scott Slawson. “We are proud of the resolve of the membership over 70 days on the picket line. As a result of the action taken by our members, we made both economic and non-economic gains.”
Wabtec Negotiations 2023
The 1400 members of UE Locals 506 and 618 today ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with their employer, Wabtec, bringing an end to the ten-week strike at Wabtec’s Erie, PA plant that began on June 22.
“This contract represents a substantial improvement over what Wabtec had on the table in June,” said Local 506 President Scott Slawson. “We are proud of the resolve of the membership over 70 days on the picket line. As a result of the action taken by our members, we made both economic and non-economic gains. The membership has voted to ratify this agreement. It's time to get back to work.”
UE Locals 506 and 618 have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with Wabtec Corporation.
UE members will vote on the agreement tomorrow. If ratified, it will end the strike at Wabtec’s Erie, PA plant.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has released a video featuring the voices of striking UE members in Erie, PA.
The planned appearance of U.S. Sen. John Fetterman seemed to be the spark that drew hundreds of striking union members at Wabtec to Napier Park in Lawrence Park shortly before noon on Monday.
But members of the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America, who have been on strike since June 22, didn't seem to need Fetterman to summon enthusiasm for their cause.
Many of the nearly 1,400 striking union members, who carried signs and wore a variety of strike-themed T-shirts, made a dramatic entrance after walking to the park from their respective picket locations along Franklin Avenue, East Lake Road and Water Street.
July was the hottest month on record — possibly the hottest in the history of human civilization — and August is bringing more scorching temperatures and supercharged storms. Amid this climate crisis, 1,400 locomotive builders and clerical workers on strike in Erie, Penn. are modeling how unions — and workers walking off the job — can make climate justice demands of an employer.
On Saturday, July 29, Green Locomotive Project volunteers in California brought the fight for green locomotives and green jobs to the entrance of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) rail yard. The activists distributed leaflets explaining the struggle of striking UE Local 506 and 618 members in Erie. The 1400 members of the two locals have been on strike since June 22 demanding a fair contract and that Wabtec invest in making green locomotives in their plant.
On Saturday, striking members of UE Locals 506 and 618 got support from a “convoy” of supporters from Pittsburgh who drove to Erie to join the picket line at the Wabtec locomotive plant. On the same day, in California, volunteers with the Green Locomotive Project distributed literature at the Barstow Rail Yard, where Wabtec operates a receiving facility, and on Friday, members of UE Local 150 distributed leaflets at the Wabtec plant in Maxton, North Carolina.
On Wabtec’s second-quarter earnings call with investors yesterday, the company was forced to address the ongoing strike by members of UE Locals 506 and 618 at the company’s locomotive plant in Erie, PA. Chief Financial Officer John Olin admitted that “margins were down a little bit more than we expected. The key driver of that … was the inefficiencies we're experiencing at our facility in Erie behind the strike.”
In an op-ed posted today on GoErie.com, Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) writes, “let's be clear: what’s good for workers is good for America. So when workers stand up and strike, I believe it’s our duty to have their backs. ... I understand that it’s thanks to unions that countless Pennsylvania families can put food on the table every night. That’s why I always have and always will go the mat to fight for unions and the workers they represent.”