Unionized laborers and the Wabtec Erie plant are facing a deadline that ends a 90-day negotiation period at midnight on Monday night.
The negotiation could affect 1,700 employees in addition to their families, the school district and the Lawrence Park community.
In a guest editorial in the Sunday Times News, the UE Local 506 stated, “We are in the final days of the negotiation that we know will result in a lower earnings for our families and that we hope will mean a contractual guarantee to “Keep it Made in Erie” for generations to come.”
The company has also gone public, releasing a statement Friday on where they see the talks saying, “We are making some progress on language issues, but remain far apart on wages.”
Community members express their thoughts on the interim agreement for Wabtec and how it may help or hinder.
Becky Standley, Lawrence Park Dinor owner says, “We just pray for a good result for both sides because it’s very detrimental to the whole Erie community that we keep a good employer here and we want them to be fair to the guys working on the floor.
Phillip Fish, a resident tells us, “They want to take that all away and put you at half the wages and it’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m glad the union is standing up and fighting to keep those items for the future of the country and that’s the important part.”
The key point of the agreement is a need from the company for a two-tier wage system that would start new employees at twenty-two dollars and established employees at thirty-five dollars an hour.
Both sides have said they do not want an extension on the agreement.