Wabtec Closes Successful Merger with GE Transportation
It's official; the merger deal between Wabtec and GE Transportation closed Monday, meaning the General Electric plant in Lawrence Park has a new owner for the first time in its history.
The combined company, now owned by Wabtec Corporation, of Wilmerding, Pa., is expected to have revenues of more than $8 billion this year.
GE Transportation is known for building efficient locomotives, mining and marine equipment and now its digital solutions.
Together, they are expected to create a leading equipment, after-market services and digital solutions provider. The combined company also hopes to accelerate the path of automating the rail transportation industry across the country because of how their technologies align.
However, Wabtec must now deal with the nagging problem of 1,700 unhappy union workers at the Erie site.
"We've got these two companies coming together that have 100-200 years of rich experience," said Alan Hamilton, general manager of Wabtec systems engineering. "We're going to be able to merge all these technologies together, really deliver, innovate for our customers and our shareholders, so it's a real exciting time. We'll really have a power house of a transportation business between these two companies."
"The decisions that the union is making is not just abut their members, it's really impacting the community as a whole for years and generations to come," said Greg Sbrocco, vice president of the Wabtec excellence program. "I hope we can get to an agreement"
Wabtec has agreed to keep the legacy wage of about $35 per hour for existing employees, but the company wants a lower tier that it calls a market-based wage for new hires and the ability to schedule overtime, if necessary.