Under The Hat: Already Too Late? - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under The Hat: Already Too Late?

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It's been a pretty busy news week.

There were the primary elections, granted something of a bomb given the cold rain and the lackluster turnout.

There was the real blast and fire at a Harborcreek biodiesel fuel plant and the complaints from responders of lung and throat problems later.

But the real explosive announcement, the one that could detonate the entire area economy, is word that General Electric is looking to build another locomotive plant in Fort Worth Texas.
Excuse us for feeling a little protective, but Erie workers have been building GE locomotives here for the past 100 years.

Like many communities, Fort Worth is rolling out the red carpet to the global giant by offering more than five million dollars in tax incentives to lure the 100 million dollar plant there.
The company is promising to build high tech machines in its state of the art facility.
Compare that to the aging, drafty industrial era buildings of the Erie campus and you begin to see why people are getting concerned.
Add to that the fact that Texas is a right-to-work state, meaning that by law an employee is not required to join a union to work.
Devastating does not begin to describe what losing GE would mean to Erie.
One out of every 11 jobs here is tied one way or another to General Electric.
The annual economic impact to the region is more than 2 billion dollars annually, and yes, friends, that's billion with a "B."
County Executive Barry Grossman is doing the right thing in meeting with union leaders and company executives to ask what's happening and what might be done to keep the company happy here.
We wish his efforts all the luck in the world.
But there's another scenario no one wants to confront but may soon have to:
What if it's already too late?

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