Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on GE Transportation’s incoming President and CEO, Russell Stokes, to protect jobs as he assumes responsibilities for departing President and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli. After GE announced its intention to transfer 950 jobs to Texas, Casey pushed to protect jobs in the region. With GE already issuing 500 layoff notices, Casey’s letter calls upon the new President and CEO to examine the Erie facilities’ highly skilled workforce and work in a genuine way to save jobs.
“The workforce in Erie has manufactured world class locomotives for decades and GE has benefitted significantly from Erie’s skilled workforce. I am calling on GE’s new leadership to take this into account as it makes additional decisions on jobs,” Senator Casey said. “With new leadership, GE Transportation should reconsider maintaining 450 jobs in Erie and recommit to Northwestern Pennsylvania.”
The full text of Casey’s letter can be seen below:
Mr. Russell Stokes
President and CEO
Dear Mr. Stokes,
As you begin your new role as CEO of GE Transportation, I want to take the opportunity to highlight how vital the workforce of northwestern Pennsylvania is to the success of your company.
The workforce in Erie has manufactured world class locomotives for decades in the region and has directly contributed to making GE Transportation so competitive in the industry. The locomotives produced in Erie and the engines produced in Grove City are expertly manufactured by dedicated employees. As you can expect, I was extremely disappointed when GE Transportation announced its intention to transfer 950 union jobs and 100 corporate positions out of Erie to its new facility in Texas this past spring. During the negotiations between GE Transportation and UE 506, I was engaged in active dialogue with both labor and the company in an effort to aid a resolution that would have protected jobs. Ultimately, no agreement was reached.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in Erie when GE Transportation issued notices to 500 of the 950 employees informing them that their layoffs will go into effect in early November. The impact of these layoffs is tremendous—not only on the hard working men and women themselves, but on their spouses, children, and communities.
During the next few months as you assess GE’s revenue and contracts in the fourth quarter, I urge you to do everything practicable to avoid putting the remaining 450 potential layoffs into effect. I stand ready to assist you in this effort and am committed to working with you to maintain a vibrant workforce in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator