February 28, 2019
Letter of solidarity from Unifor
To: UE union and UE Locals 506 & 618
On behalf of Unifor, Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 members across the country, I am writing to express our strong solidarity in your strike against Wabtec/GE.
You, the 1,700 members of UE locals 506 and 618 in Erie, Pennsylvania, have worked many years for the GE transportation locomotive plant, just a few hours away from Canada's border. Your strike to preserve the good wages and working conditions guaranteed under your collective agreement is a testament to the dedication you have for your jobs and the well-being of your communities.
On February 4th, our union wrote to your company's CEO, Raymond T. Betler, urging him that Wabtec's merger with GE Transportation should not be used to try and take away the hard-fought gains our UE brothers and sisters have achieved over the past several decades. As we have now seen, the company has done just that, and targeted your wages and working conditions.
To the members who have begun this difficult strike action: know that you have support north of the border. We stand with our brothers and sisters in the manufacturing sector in defense of the good jobs our communities and families deserve.
For this strike, as always, you can count on our strongest solidarity. We will support you for as long as it takes.