- Wabtec’s reckless decision to ramp production back up during this COVID-19 crisis is causing UE Locals 506 and 618 to ensure that our members’ health and well-being are protected more than ever. We understand the anxiety these corporate choices are generating for you and your families—rest assured we have your back!
We are following the PA Department of Health @PAHealthDept on Twitter and @GovernorWolf on Facebook as the most direct source of factual, up-to-the-minute information, and encourage you to access these government resources.
- We understand that the stress that this rapidly evolving public health crisis is real, but we must all do our best to stay cool and follow the rules. If you or someone in your family are feeling anxious or overwhelmed by COVID-19 — you are not alone. It is okay to reach out for help. If you need someone to talk to, text PA to 741-741. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7.
We will continue to insist Wabtec does its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by following the CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines put in place to equip employers to limit exposure to their employees. Our position is clear: Wabtec ramping production of international parts back up is beyond the spirit of Governor Wolf’s waiver and the Homeland Security directive on life-sustaining jobs.
- Governor Wolf’s Waiver: In-person work at a business site is only to be performed on the most limited basis possible to deliver the service or goods of your life-sustaining business.
- DHS Guidance: to support the Nation’s critical infrastructure. We recognize that State, local, tribal, and territorial governments are ultimately in charge of implementing and executing response activities in communities under their jurisdiction, while the Federal Government is in a supporting role.
- To date, the Governor has not acted. You can read our latest request to Governor Wolf if you click on the link below this BULLETIN on www.uelocal506.com.www.uelocal506.com
- In light of the company’s relentless drive to ramp up production to fill international locomotive orders, we have ramped up our work to protect you.
- Daily calls with Safety Coordinators and Plant Managers to ensure the Company’s plan is implemented,
- Identify concerns and discussing methods to avoid exposure,
- Insisting the Company follows the proper procedures and the CDC guidelines to keep everyone protected from unnecessary spread, and
- Provide necessary PPE and supplies to protect every single person.
- In a 4.5 million square foot facility to eliminate the possibility of contamination will be next to impossible, which is why we will continue to insist the company only allow the necessary and essential operations to continue, complying with Governor Wolfs directive and DHS guidance to support the Nation’s critical infrastructure,
The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate, brothers and sisters. White-collar or blue, every employee working must commit to doing everything in their power to limit exposure and mitigate the spread. The ability to responsibly adhere may come down to supplies. If you are in an area and are running out of soap in the bathrooms, hand sanitizer, disinfectant or proper PPE immediately notify your supervisor and safety coordinator. Understand what you can do to stay safe by taking a minute to educate yourself about effective prevention methods—CLICK HERE https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
- On Monday, March 30, the Company will be implementing badge and temperature scans at the East & West Gates in an attempt to mitigate unnecessary exposure. The East Gate will be opening at 5:30 am and the West Gate will be open 24/7. The North Gate will be closed until further notice.
UE Locals 506 and 618 met with the Company Thursday and Friday to bargain the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. We will update you once an agreement is met. We understand member’s concerns about returning to work. We would like to give you a direct answer and clear instructions on how to proceed. This is an unprecedented and unique situation, and as a union, we would normally provide clear direction/guidance. As frustrating as this is, we still cannot give members blanket answers on unemployment eligibility.
- At this point, reporting to work on Monday is a personal decision. Every individual has a unique situation and each member’s eligibility will be determined by the State. One thing that is clear — if you read the Wabtec communication regarding attendance (below) — you cannot be fired for not coming to work for any reasons stated by the Company, and if you follow their call-off procedure.
- To read the most up-to-the-minute available information regarding UC eligibility CLICK HERE: https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspxhttps://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx
All members should read Wabtec’s communication (below) regarding time and attendance.
- Wabtec March 12, 2020
Effective March 13, 2020 -At Wabtec Corporation the safety of our employees is always paramount. With the rise of coronavirus disease (also referred to as COVID-19) in the United States, the Company wants to ensure that all employees feel comfortable both with coming into work or staying home if there is a risk that they will spread or contract the disease. Effective March 13, 2020 -April 12, 2020 employees who call off at least one hour before their scheduled start time will not be assessed attendance points and will not be required to use their paid time off if they choose not to. In addition, if an employee is at work and needs to leave because they are ill the same will apply. As a reminder, the call-off number is (814)875-4000.