After 21 days on the picket line, Wabtec union workers had some visitors and extra support Thursday night.
After weeks of picketing, UE Local 506 and 618 workers on strike got a taste of the islands with a free concert.
Robbie York, known in the music world as Lopaka Rootz, looked to provide a positive boost of energy through his playing.
His father, Jim York, is a union member himself, adding he’s proud of his son’s actions.
“He’s trying to show support for the picket lines and get a little exposure himself because he’s pretty well known over in Hawaii,” said Jim York, union member and father of musician.
Robbie York was born in Erie but moved to Hawaii early in adulthood. Jim York adding his son has thrived in Hawaii, even topping charts on local radio stations.
And now that he’s back here in Erie, Robbie is looking to keep people smiling.
“He’s trying to put a good vibe out and keep everybody’s spirits up. That’s all you can do in situations like this.” Jim York said.
And although union workers have been walking the picket lines for some time now, they got a chance to walk in a different sort of line on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile at the other entrance of Wabtec on Franklin Avenue, the Benedictine Sisters hosted a silent peace walk, showing their solidarity with those on strike.
“It was quite a learning opportunity for us too. I mean, talk about dedication and faithfulness. To see their own presence here for now 21 days is a lesson for all of us who are seeking peace,” said Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, a member of Benedictines for Peace.
Several union members joined in on the walk and showed their appreciation for the Benedictine Sisters’ support.
“We’re very moved by their struggle. We know there is a human cost to what they’re doing. If our presence here can bring any sort of comfort, we’re very happy to be able to provide that,” Sister Sanchez-Small said.
Contract talks with Wabtec are set to continue Friday, July 14.