Union President Comments on GE Callbacks - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Union President Comments on GE Callbacks

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Some GE workers who lost their jobs last year in the transfer of work to a new production facility in Texas are getting called back to their jobs. GE Transportation says it is adjusting workforce staffing levels to meet customer needs in 2014.  Orders for the Erie plant are not at the record levels of 800 to 1,000 locomotives per year, but union officials say the Erie plant has firmed up 507 locomotive orders for the current production year and they need more workers to build and deliver them.

Both the company and UE 506 confirm that GE has called back over 70 employees.  GE announced plans for 950 permanent layoffs last year when they started using the Texas plant.  To date union officials say only 377 Erie jobs have been cut, so any news of rolling that plan back is encouraging. Assemblers, painters, welders and jitney drivers are all getting called back.  But for workers still hoping for the call, layoff benefits are running out.

UE 506 President Scott Duke said, "I've been taking an abundance of phone calls of individuals asking me on a week to week basis where they stand on the recall list on their codes and classes and seniority and most of them are telling me that they have about two paychecks left."

GE officials are downplaying the callbacks.  Spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson issued a statement saying, "We are re-aligning our staffing through a combination of transfers and recalls with approximately 70 employees to be recalled."  She added, "Considering normal attrition, this should not have a significant net effect on overall employment levels at the plant this year."

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