ERIE – Nine-hundred-fifty union jobs and 100 management positions are on the chopping block at Erie’s GE Transportation plant. The company announced yesterday it would lay off over a thousand workers as more operations are transferred to its Fort Worth, Texas plant.
“It was attributed to a downturn in the economy. The coal industry is down significantly — 15- to 20-percent — and this is going to directly impact about 950 families in Erie County,” said State Senator Sean Wiley.
Wiley spoke with the president of GE yesterday, who told him that about 200 of the job cuts are linked to a declining coal demand. Wiley says despite the bad news, area residents need to be looking to the future.
“There are opportunities for us to continue to invest in some of these organizations, such as GE. They continue to employ, after this downturn, 45-hundred people in Erie County. That’s a significant employer. So, we have to make sure we continue to help them bolster their business, and make sure they are competitive in their industry.”
Meanwhile the cuts are not a done deal quite yet. The final decision won’t be known for a couple of months – union negotiations are underway that might save at least some of the jobs if workers are willing to make concessions.
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