Union members say they failed to convince the company to negotiate an acceptable short-term agreement. 19659006] Factory employers, now owned by Westinghouse Airbrakes Technologies Corp., began their strike early on Tuesday morning after the UE locals' management 506 and 618 said they were unable to convince the company to negotiate an "acceptable short-term agreement that retains pay, benefits and employment for GE / Wabtec employees, "said a statement.
"We are very disappointed that the company couldn't see the way to agree to continue the terms we've been working for for decades. Their rejection gives us no choice but to go out to strike to protect our and our children's future, says Scott Slawson, UE President Local 506.
Karl Torrance from UE Local 61
The GE / Wabtec merger ended Monday when company and trade union representatives returned to the negotiating table in an attempt to reach a settlement. The members of the locals voted on Saturday to approve strikes if necessary if no new agreement was signed. It was the first time since 1969 that the locals approved strikes at the Lawrence Park facility if a settlement was not reached.
Under Wabtec's proposed contract, existing employees will continue to be paid with their old hourly rate, averaging $ 35 an hour But new employees, including employees withdrawn from layoff, would be paid between $ 16.75 and $ 25 per hour, said a Wabtec official, payroll does not reflect the skills and knowledge required for the jobs, and does not reflect Wabtec's resources, and lowers of wages in time will destroy the local economy, said Slawson.
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