It is official. This October, GE Transportation will start transferring work to Texas, impacting more than 900 employees locally.
CEO of GE Transportation, Lorenzo Simonelli, said, "I recognize this is difficult for employees, their families and the community, and I wish it was not necessary. But it is essential to protect the long-term health of our business."
Even though a decision has been made, we're told that the company and UE 506 will be talking in the near future.
"We're going to go back and talk with them some more," said Scott Duke, president of UE 506. "They wanted to get together with us sometime next week to sit down and talk about ways we can move forward."
GE has said that no matter the outcome, Erie will remain a part of the business. State Representative Ryan Bizzarro, (D) 3rd District, said he hopes that's true.
"I do hope that GE is sincere with their insurance that moving forward Erie will continue to serve as an integral part of their locomotive business."
Now bipartisan disappointment has been pouring in since the decision was made. Both congressmen Mike Kelly, (R) 3rd District, and Glenn "GT" Thompson, (R) 5th District, and State Senator Sean Wiley, (D) 49th District, have said they are now focusing on the families affected by this move.
Bizzarro said it's up to law makers to work together to make sure Erie's economy remains strong.
"From our perspective, the Erie delegation is certainly going to continue to work together in order to maintain that solid work force in our region. And we hope that GE continues to be a big player in that."
Even though they now know these jobs are leaving, Duke said he's going to tell union members that it's back to business as usual.
"I want everyone to give them an honest eight hours. First, I want to make sure the company is doing their part to make sure the parts are available to build a product and to make customer commitments."
Duke said on Thursday, the rank and file will officially be notified of the work transfer.