Union Workers 'send message' to Wabtec with 'practice picket' demonstration outside GE plant
(LAWRENCE PARK, P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW) –Three large groups of union workers were standing together outside the GE Transportation plant’s three main entrances for roughly two hours.
Workers held up signs, yelled out some chants and received some support from drivers, who honked on their way past.
While a strike has not yet been called, Executive Board Member for U.E. Local 506 Matt McCracken told us Friday’s demonstration was simply to ‘send a message’ to future plant owner, Wabtec Corp.
"This is absolutely wonderful, I love this, this is great.” McCracken said “If they want to know whether we'll stand up to them, I think they'll watch this video and get the message."
Wabtec released a statement Wednesday, ahead of a planned strike authorization vote.
McCracken says while workers are frustrated with wages, worker control over scheduling has been a major factor, too.
According to a press release sent by the U.E. union rep, Wabtec’s proposal includes mandatory overtime.
The statement read:
“They want us working Continuous operations, and they want to cut wages for recalled workers take that away. If they had their way, we’d be in that plant on Sunday instead of raising funds to help our veterans. Wabtec needs to do better”
The two sides are continuing negotiations as we speak.
The strike authorization vote is scheduled for Saturday.
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