Wabtec Issues Statement Ahead of Wednesday's Negotiations, Says Company has 'Made Every Effort to Avoid a Strike'
Wabtec has issued a statement ahead of Wednesday's negotiations with the union that is representing the workers at the Lawrence Park plant who have been on strike since Feb. 26.
“[Wednesday], we will return to the negotiating table to resume discussions with the UE. Unfortunately, over the last week, there has been a lot of misinformation shared by the Union leadership to the detriment of its members and the community.
Our intent for the Erie facility is, and has always been, clear: to strengthen its cost structure and position the site for growth, stability and success – while preserving some of the highest-paying manufacturing jobs in the region for our current employees. These are good, stable jobs that pay an average of $85,000 per year with salary and overtime for current hourly employees – more than 2X the average salary across the Erie metro area.
Our proven track record of working across sites to implement market-based wage structures will also benefit Erie and position the site for additional work and employee growth – just like it has in locations like Kansas City, Grove City, Cleveland and Las Vegas. Growth that we believe Erie deserves.
As we have said many times, a strike benefits no one. Over the last 3 months, Wabtec has made every effort to avoid a strike at the Erie plant; however, the union has repeatedly rejected the Company’s proposals.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to continuing discussions and hope that the UE shares the same commitment to reach an agreement. The community depends on it.”
Over the weekend, Scott Slawson took the union's message to a Bernie Sanders political rally.
The union wants to be sure that workers do not lose the pay or benefits that they have bargained for over the years.
Members of UE 506 and 618 plan to demonstrate Wednesday at the Wabtec Corporate headquarters in Wilmerding near Pittsburgh. They expect UE workers at that plant to join in, as well as others.