The agreement represents concessions for each party, but also the promise of security for the company`s Erie staff. A worker wrote on the EU Local 506 Facebook page: “Everyone is congratulating everyone, but the sacked employees are screwed here. With 2 levels, the Union will tear itself apart over time. That is not acceptable. Shame on all those who are satisfied. I asked HR [Human Resource] Guy what was the status of 450 [dismissed workers] and his answer was that they were not on the payroll when Wabtec took over.` They did not want to honour the recall rights at all. The concession contract was drawn up as part of a 90-day interim agreement, signed after a nine-day strike in late February and early March against the locomotive manufacturer`s attempt to unilaterally implement demands for new hires and workers facing temporary layoffs to be paid at rates significantly lower than $17 to $22 per hour. Wabtec`s current employees receive an average of $35 per hour. Management also asked for the right to hire up to 25% of temporary workers who would not have contractual rights. The agreement will not be official until it is voted on Wednesday by some 1,700 members of two EU residents in Erie.
“I think both teams worked very hard,” he said. “I think we have reached a fair agreement. I think we have a bright future where we work together. While Sbrocco said the company would continue to build locomotives and carry out further work in Erie, the terms of the agreement require Wabtec to bring work to the Erie plant, which is not currently being completed there. “This is a good day for Erie,” he said. “As a community that has been in decline for decades, it is so nice to see the confidence in the investments in our community that Wabtec has (posted). It`s a great relief and I think it`s a great day. Without the success and perseverance of the union, we would not have been able to get to where we are. I applaud them a lot.
I think it`s a very good day for our community. On Thursday afternoon, representatives of the Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (Wabtec) and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (EU) agreed on an interim agreement for the 1,700 employees at the Erie locomotive plant in Pennsylvania.