Posts tagged UE Local 506

    What’s on the line as Wabtec strike in Erie nears the two-month mark?

    August 18, 2023 // The company's Erie workforce of more than 2,000, including nearly 1,400 union workers, helps sustain five local jobs for every job at the former GE Transportation plant, Bernstein said. "A plant shutdown would lead to an immediate domino effect on local businesses that rely on the patronage of the 1,400 union workers and their families," Grunke wrote. "From small shops and restaurants to service providers and suppliers, the livelihoods of countless other families hang in the balance." Scott Slawson, president of UE Local 506, which represents most of the striking workers, doesn't minimize the importance of the plant to the local economy. He's spoken of it often, both before and during the current strike.

    Wabtec sues union, seeks injunction aimed at conduct of striking workers on picket line

    August 3, 2023 // Since the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America went on strike on June 22, according to Wabtec's motion, the striking workers have, among other things, used racist and homophobic slurs against non-striking employees entering and leaving the plant, damaged employees' personal vehicles, blocked the plant's gates and subjected the plant to two phoned-in bomb threats. Wabtec sued the UE in asking for the injunction. "Wabtec has made consistent efforts to address the Union's unlawful and dangerous picket activity with the Union and its counsel, but the activity has persisted and most recently escalated, amounting to an unlawful seizure of the Wabtec facility," according to Wabtec's motion.

    Erie’s United Electrical Workers Strike at Wabtec

    June 26, 2023 // On June 10, Wabtec offered workers what was described as their "last, best, and final offer" in the ongoing contract negotiations. On June 22, the membership voted not to ratify it. Wabtec executives expressed disappointment in a letter, stating that it is an "unfortunate decision" that the labor would "engage in a strike at this time rather than return to the bargaining table." They added that a walkout benefited no one and argued that they had "repeatedly informed the UE" that the Erie plant's labor costs were burdening and their work rules too restrictive. "UE members have rejected these terms," the company continued, "and are striking in support of Union proposals that would significantly increase our wage and benefit costs, further limit operational flexibility, and create an on-going risk of disruption in our manufacturing operations." Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was no mention by the company of the costs of Wabtec executives as a burden. According to the AFL-CIO, Wabtec CEO Rafael Santana received over $11 million in compensation in 2021 alone. Explained in another way, $11 million is equivalent to nearly 150 employees earning $75,000 each. For additional context, as described by the Economic Policy Institute, the CEO-to-worker compensation disparity has increased significantly over the decades: 15-to-1 in 1965, 44-to-1 in 1989, to now hundreds of times more today (between 200 to 300).