According to a news release sent Wednesday, UE Local 506 was provided notice of a permanent reduction in force by the Wabtec Union Relations.
The company stated that as the freight industry continues to experience a decline coupled with the added strain on the COVID-19 pandemic, Wabtec will need to layoff approximately 300 hourly workers.
The layoff is set to begin during the fourth full week in May and they expect it to go into Mid-October.
Tim Bader, the Sr. Business Communication Leader with Wabtec have issued a statement regarding the layoffs at the Erie site:
“In the face of a challenging freight locomotive market and the COVID-19 pandemic, freight rail carload volumes across the industry are down significantly. For the first 16 weeks of 2020, U.S carload volumes are down 9.5%, intermodal units are down over 10%, combined U.S. traffic is down almost 10%, and railroads are reporting a record number of locomotives parked.”
“In response to these market dynamics, Wabtec must align its operations in Erie, PA, to the new realities of the volume environment. Today, we announced we will reduce our hourly workforce in Erie by roughly 300 front-line employees during the third quarter. We worked with the UE Local 506 on a save a job layoff incentive program, which is being offered to potentially offset up to 200 of these reductions.”
“Decisions like this are never easy, but it comes as the result of an in-depth evaluation of the market and how to best position the company for success given today’s unprecedented environment. The company remains fully committed to all customer commitments and providing impacted employees with resources and benefits.”
This is a developing story. You can find out all the latest on JET 24 Action News and on YourErie.com