UE 506 releases proposal to preserve Erie GE jobs

After several weeks of discussions, UE Local 506 provided GE today with a comprehensive proposal which would maintain Erie as the primary site for manufacturing locomotives.  According to UE Local 506 President Scott Slawson, “the union’s proposal addresses the company’s goals of lowering costs and allowing the company to be more flexible in developing its manufacturing schedule.”

According to President Slawson, “this is a very serious union proposal,” which addresses many of the concerns which GE raised with UE during numerous meetings held since July 27 when the company first announced a preliminary decision to relocate much of the union’s current work.  “We are hopeful that GE will respond positively to our proposal, Slawson added. 

In return for addressing cost issues, the union has requested that the company make a series of commitments to its members and the Erie community.  The commitments sought from GE include preservation of certain jobs and work through 2023, substantial annual investments by the company to modernize and streamline locomotive production, and agreements to insource additional new work into the facility to replace any jobs that may be transferred.

“We’re also working closely with Governor Wolf’s office,” Slawson stated.  “Our proposal today asks the company to partner with us in identifying grants and other forms of state assistance to upgrade machinery and equipment in the Erie GE facility.”  The state will likely require GE to make firm commitments to the Erie community in exchange for assistance from Pennsylvania in modernizing the facility.  

A representative from GE has emailed saying, "We received a proposal from the UE 506 late this morning and are carefully reviewing the details. It’s too premature at this time to share a preliminary assessment on whether it drives the flexibility and cost competitiveness required to operate in todays’ complex environment."


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