Wabtec closing Idaho plant, moving work to Erie bringing around a hundred jobs to the area

Local News

A locomotive manufacturing company owned by Wabtec located in Boise, Idaho will be closing and moving its work to the Wabtec plant in Erie.

JET 24 Action News’ Samiar Nefzi has more on the story you first saw right here on Yourerie.com.

He was able to talk with U.E. Local 506 president Scott Slawson about what that could mean for local workers. He says there is little known about this new chapter.

Idaho based locomotive manufacturing company MotivePower will be closing its doors and sending its jobs to the Erie Wabtec plant.

A Wabtec spokesperson saying they hope to have everything finalized by the end of the first quarter of 2020. Wabtec releasing the following, which reads in part.

“Decisions like this are never easy but will help simplify and optimize the company’s manufacturing footprint in today’s cyclical environment, as well as better position Wabtec for success. The company remains fully committed to all customer commitments and providing impacted employees with resources and benefits to manage the transition.”

U.E. Local 506 President Scott Slawson says it sounds like a substantial amount of work is heading to the plant.

“Any work coming into Erie is definitely a positive,” Slawson said. “These are good jobs and we still have a lot of people on our list that we would like to see brought back into the facility.”

Slawson says that they are excited about the potential work to come here to the Erie plant, but their hearts go out to the workers at the Idaho facility.

“We’ve been on the receiving end of that. I’m not sure the history of that plant,” Slawson said. “This is news no community wants, it’s news no worker wants. Businesses make decisions for a reason.”

Becky Standley, the owner of the Lawrence Park Dinor says that this is really great news for the people of Erie.

“I think its really great news. It just really strengthens the Erie economy and really gets these guys pumped up and excited about building locomotives again,” said Standley.

There has been no word on when the closure will take place. A Wabtec spokesperson says they hope to have everything completed by the first quarter of 2020. They declined to comment on how many jobs will be coming to Erie.

Wabtec and U.E. Local 506 agreed that 100 new jobs are expected to be created over a four-year agreement. There is no word if this news is part of that deal.

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