Community, Other Unions Rally for Striking Workers Outside Wabtec
One day after Wabtec and union attorneys reached a consent decree to limit the number of pickets at each gate of the plant, there was a big show of support Saturday from about a dozen other unions.
Members of teachers unions, Teamsters, the Central Labor Council, Steamfitters and others lined up across from the Water St. entrance in Lawrence Park.
It was a family-friendly demonstration with children joining in.
Their message is that the dispute affecting 1,700 union members at Erie's Wabtec plant impacts more than just those workers.
One boy whose dad is on strike also spoke up.
"These workers from the UE local are out here fighting for their families," said Marcus Schlegel, PSEA representative for the NW region. "We as teacher and support staff in the school district and support staff of all these communities realize what an impact that takes on all these families. We just wanted to come out here and support them."
"People are losing jobs, and my dad on the strike," said Thomas Pohl, whose father is on strike. "That means no money. No money means possible house loss, and that scares me."
"They are members in our community, their kids are in our schools, and they are there for us when we need them," said Tracey Hart, president of the NW Region PSEA. "What happens to them affects our students, and we need to keep all of us strong. We're all interwoven."
In a statement on the rally, UE Local 506 business agent Mike Ferritto said,"It warms the heart to see our neighbors standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the courageous men and women who are braving the cold to stand up for worker's rights in Erie County and across America."