U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to GE Transportation's President and CEO, Lorenzo Simonelli, pressing the company to engage in good faith negotiations with the Erie plant's workers. A news release issued by Casey's office says in the letter, Casey specifically urges the company to be willing to negotiate past the June 22nd deadline and to do everything possible to maintain jobs.
"I'm disappointed that the current negotiations have not produced an agreement that maintains jobs at Erie's GE plant," Senator Casey. "GE has a highly trained workforce with a strong production record in Erie, and nobody should be turning their backs on these workers or the Erie community. It's crucial that GE genuinely engage with the workers and negotiate a good faith agreement."
The full text of Casey's letter can be seen below:
Mr. Lorenzo Simonelli
President and CEO
2901 East Lake Road
Lawrence Park, 16531
Dear Mr. Simonelli:
It is my understanding that negotiations that could result in the transfer of nearly 1,000 jobs to Texas have been extended until June 22nd. I write to reiterate my expectation that both GE and the union work in good faith to identify a solution that will mitigate these significant job losses.
UE 506 has manufactured world class locomotives for decades in Erie and has directly contributed to the successes of GE Transportation. I am concerned that GE's proposal to shift jobs out of state may be the beginning of a trend that would detrimentally impact the labor community in northwest Pennsylvania. I expect GE to make every possible effort to avoid the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs that would not only impact the workers themselves, but their families and communities.
As you continue to negotiate, I urge you to do everything practicable to keep these jobs at the Erie facility. It is my expectation that if more time is needed to resolve outstanding issues GE and UE 506 will extend the negotiation period again. I stand ready to provide any assistance that I can offer.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator