More than 100 permanent layoffs will soon impact Erie’s locomotive plant.
Wabtec will soon layoff up to 150 employees permanently at its Erie plant. A local union representative explaining this sadly isn’t something new for this area.
“It’s disappointing. This is actually our third layoff in a year and a half. I mean, we just signed a contact here a year and a half ago that was supposed to put this site on a path to success and, for whatever reason, it’s just not happening.” said Scott Slawson, President of UE Local 506.
The company said the first layoffs will occur in November and will be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
Wabtec says these job losses will impact hourly front line employees. The decision comes as the carload volume is significantly down compared to last year.
The company said in a statement:
“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.”
Wabtec leaders earlier this week issued another statement assuring workers that the Erie plant is very much a part of Wabtec’s futures.
This, after Presidential candidate Joe Biden stated “There is an Erie locomotive plant thinking of shutting down here.”
Wabtec says that is not true. Nevertheless, Slawson knows these layoffs couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“Given the current climate, it’s to me just not enough. I think everybody is fighting for the same jobs at this point and there’s not many out there and you couldn’t pick a worse time, coming into the Holidays, it always feel like this happens.” Slawson said.
The union has scheduled a benefits session for all affected employees with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Rapid Response on December 11th.
Wabtec also stating the company will provide impacted employees with resources and benefits.