Normally I spend this space talking about bankruptcy law or policy, or talking to our clients about their charge cards or keeping their house, car, or motorcycle. Make no mistake, I love helping people with these and other problems. We all do at Steidl & Steinberg.
But then I read something recently in the Erie Times News and I just got sad. General Electric Transportation is ending locomotive production in Erie, and that is indeed sad news. The loss is 575 solid jobs. These jobs will not be easily replaced as Erie continues to receive blow after blow to its manufacturing base.
GE Moves Jobs Elsewhere
I know this is something that is happening all over the country and has been happening since the early 1980s. I know that there are still a good amount of jobs left at the plant, and I know all of the arguments GE has for moving the jobs elsewhere.
This is just another punch in the gut for the workers, and their predecessors, who have built some of the finest products anywhere on this planet. And this is another punch in the gut for those families who depend on the paychecks these qualified workers have earned.
Some responsibility must be accepted by GE. The company is not eliminating these jobs but is apparently moving them to Fort Worth, TX by the end of 2018. Ironically, earlier this year, GE announced it was cutting 250 positions at its Fort Worth plant, where workers aren’t unionized.
“This move is necessary to drive efficiency, better compete in the increasingly competitive global rail market, and preserve U.S. jobs,” GE said in a statement.
The Erie plant currently employs more than 2,500 workers, and locomotive prototypes will still be produced at the site, which is GE Transportation’s largest plant.
GE Transportation executive Richard Simpson told GoErie.com the company has to put work at its most competitive location, which doesn’t include Erie.
“While we have made progress in Erie, it still isn’t as competitive,” Simpson said.
Erie Families Depend on These Jobs
Doesn’t GE have a conscience? Doesn't GE know how Erie families depend on these jobs? Is the bottom line so absolute that they always have to go for the cheapest materials, cheapest work product, cheapest employees? These are good people, and their family economics will most likely be destroyed.
So sad. So devoid of conscience. So unnecessary.