General Electric recently merged with Wabtec, a rail equipment manufacturer, in a deal that was worth more than $11 billion.
Let me be very clear: Wabtec is a profitable company that is expected to bring in nearly $8 billion this year – doubling its revenue as a result of the merger. They had enough money to provide over $120 million in payments to executives at Wabtec and General Electric, including a $16 million handout to Wabtec’s CEO, Raymond Betler.
Yet Wabtec refuses to treat its workers fairly and in fact wants to undermine the progress won under their existing union contract.
Union workers in Erie, Pennsylvania who were previously employed by General Electric now must renegotiate with Wabtec. As of today, they are on strike to fight back against Wabtec’s plan to cut pay, mandate overtime, and undermine job security.
We cannot and will not allow powerful companies like Wabtec to undo decades worth of progress on workers’ rights.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with the 1,700 locomotive manufacturing workers in Erie who are currently on strike to keep the pay and benefits they have won as union members. But I cannot do this alone – it is important that we join together to show our support for these workers as they demand fair negotiations.
Add your name to join me in calling on Wabtec CEO Raymond Betler to let workers negotiate a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement.
The right to organize as part of a union has historically been one of the surest ways for American workers to join the middle class. The security of a union job provides good pay, benefits including health care, and the ability to have a voice at work.
One of the biggest reasons for the disappearing middle class is that the rights of workers to join together and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions have been severely undermined.
But workers in Erie, Pennsylvania, are coming together to fight back by going on strike.
The greed of corporations like Wabtec has got to end. And one way we can stand up to their greed is by showing we stand with Erie workers who are courageously fighting back against their CEO.
The billionaire class and large corporations in this country must learn that they cannot have it all. Thank you for joining this fight to send them a message that they can’t ignore.