Bulletin 2-26

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Brothers and Sisters, the solidarity among our UE family is unmatched. Your resolve to stand united in support of family sustaining jobs is honorable and brave—we salute you. Keep supporting your fellow workers, keep checking in for communications updates, and keep talking to your families. 

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  • FILE: Please file for unemployment today. This is a lockout.
    • LOG ON: www.uc.pa.gov
    • Click File an Initial Claim
    • Follow step-by-step filing instructions
    • REASON FOR SEPARATION: Strike/Lockout
  • SIGN UP: If you haven’t signed up for a picket shift, call your chief steward and sign up for a picket shift now.
  • COMMUNICATE:  Check in with your Chief Steward, Picket Line Captain or your Steward. Check the website, or Facebook for updates. If you would to receive updates via email please got to www.uelocal506.com and CLICK the MEMBER SIGN UP button. 
  • ASK FOR HELP: As an employee of Wabtec, your benefits include access to the Employees Assistance Program (EAP). You can call EAP at any time for any reason at 877-234-5151. It is a completely confidential resource. Feel overwhelmed?  Call 2-1-1 and somebody will be there to help you, whatever you need.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

1. We are fighting to maintain current wages and working conditions in the plant while we negotiate a new contract. A contract that GE considered acceptable and profitable.  It’s demoralizing and unnecessary.

2. Wabtec assertion that our wages are too high “for that region” is an insult to every person living in Erie County. This is not just about our jobs—this is about the future of our local economy, our community and family sustaining jobs across America.

3. Wabtec is not poor—and the Lawrence Park plant under the current collective bargaining agreement has been highly profitable every quarter for years. Wabtec is a profitable company that is expected to bring in nearly $8 billion this year – doubling its revenue as a result of the merger. They had enough money to provide over $120 million in payments to executives at Wabtec and GE, including a $16 million handout to Wabtec’s CEO.

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Dear Erie labor and community leader, On February 25th Wabtec is scheduled to take over the GE Transportation Erie facility. We have been in negotiations with the company for over a month. The proposals the company still has on the table will destroy wages, benefits, and working conditions that have taken Erie workers and their local unions, UE Local 506 and UE Local 618, over 80 years to develop. Wages and benefits which helps to provide our community with a solid tax base and decent living standards and millions of dollars in profits to GE. Wabtec is attempting to destroy these living standards and put even more profits it in the pockets of the executives and shareholders. We build some of the finest most durable locomotives in the world. Wabtec’s destruction of Erie wages and conditions have absolutely nothing to do with making the locomotive facility more successful. In fact, based on the history of huge concessions forced on workers by corporations and the gutting of standards in our communities across this nation, their actions will do just the opposite. We will not let that happen and ask for your solidarity and support. If there is a strike, we ask that you not cross our picket lines and withhold any support to the company for their operations. We, also, ask that you call or email Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s CEO at 888-264-0011 or rbetler@wabtec,com and tell them they should agree to a fair and equitable contract for Erie workers. Also, please stop by the picket line and offer your support and solidarity to our members. To see the latest developments, go to UE Local 506 Facebook page. Thank you for your time and your support. Together we can build a better Erie. In Solidarity, UE Local 506 UE Local 618