Posts tagged UE Local 618

    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).