Local 506 of the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America at GE Transportation said that the company was less than truthful when it first outlined plans two years ago for a new plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
Roger Zaczyk, the president of the local, said, “GE told us that the Fort Worth facility would be an overflow facility and that the new Texas plant would only complement the work done by our members in Lawrence Park.”
In short, he said, “the company had enough orders to keep both Erie and the new plant busy.”
The company’s plan, unveiled Tuesday, would eliminate 950 jobs in Erie, shifting much of that work to Fort Worth and to outside contractors.
Zaczyk said the union will negotiate to save as many of those jobs as possible.
“Every job is precious and we intend to fight for every one of them,” he said.
Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive of GE Transportation, has said the number of planned layoffs could be reduced by the negotiating process.
He added that the company had no way to predict the situation it now faces.
– Jim Martin