6,000 Kansas Aerospace Workers Strike – After Threatening to Cut 275 Jobs, 1,400 UE Members Walkout in Erie – UAW Strike at Big 3 Likely 

UE members won the "right-to-strike" in a 2-month long strike (UE)

Folks, 

Greetings from the Burgh, where I am preparing to cover 1,400 Wabetec workers in Erie who went on strike yesterday. Donate to help us travel to Erie this week to cover the strike

1,400 UE Members Walk Out at Wabtec in Erie 

Yesterday, over 1,400 UE members went on strike at Wabtec’s locomotive plant in Erie. The strike comes as workers push for the full renewal of the “right to strike” over grievances. 

(See our preview of the strike here)

During contract talks, Wabtec repeatedly threatened to cut 275 jobs from the Erie plant if UE went on strike over the right to renew “right to strike” over grievances fully. Undeterred by the threat, the UE decided to strike anyhow. 

“While the union is working hard to bring new work into the plant and new jobs to Erie through our Green Locomotive Project, the company is refusing to work with us on this project, and is instead holding the community of Erie hostage with the threat of moving work,” said UE Local 506 President Scott Slawson. “We will not give in to their blackmail.” 

Donations for the strike fund can be made here.

Donate to Help Us Travel to Erie to Cover the Strike 

I am hoping to travel up to Erie this week to cover the strike. However, we need to pay for food, gas, and lodging. 

Donate to help us cover our travel costs to go to Erie to cover this strike. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 751 recurring donors today. 

6,000 Kansas Aerosystems Workers Strike 

Earlier this week, Spirit AeroSystems and the Machinists reached a tentative agreement. However, workers rejected the contract overwhelmingly, with 85% voting in favor of striking. 

Workers say that they are striking over increasing healthcare costs and the failure of the company to offer raises that keep up with inflation. 

“It just feels like a big kick in the teeth. It really does,” Spirit worker T.J. Tovar told KSNW. “And so, if it’s me, imagine people that have children with special needs that need those special medications that aren’t covered anymore—that’s a big deal. I know there are people, I get it; they live paycheck to paycheck. It’s kind of a tough decision, but I feel like, again, it’s a no-brainer.”

For more on the strike, check out KSNW. 

UAW Strike at Big 3 Likely 

Business analysts predict that the likelihood of a strike at one of the big 3 is very likely as the UAW has built up an $825 million strike fund. From the Detroit News: 

According to comments made Wednesday by John Murphy, managing director and lead U.S. auto analyst in equity research at Bank of America, during the financial institution’s annual “Car Wars” presentation. The event was hosted by the Automotive Press Association.

“I think we’re going to see a strike on Sept. 15,” said Murphy. The UAW’s current contracts with Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Stellantis NV expire Sept. 14. Talks on a new agreement are slated to start this summer. Murphy said he’s highly confident in at least one strike happening and that the chances of a subsequent strike at one of the other automakers are “much higher than normal.”

For more, check out the Detroit News. 

After Repealing Water Break Rule, Postal Workers Dies in Texas Heat 

Finally, Texas recently repealed a law that requires water breaks for workers exposed to extreme heat. Just a postal worker Eugene Gates Jr, a 66-year-old postal worker, died in a 115 heat index. Gates was a 36-year veteran of the Postal Service. 

“On behalf of NALC, I send my deepest sympathies to Brother Gates’s family, friends and colleagues,” National Association of Letter Carriers President Brian L. Renfroe said in a statement. “Eugene was a dedicated letter carrier with a long and successful Postal Service career. He will be greatly missed by everyone, particularly his fellow branch members and customers.”

For more on Gates, read the USA Today. 

Alright, yinz, I gotta run to dinner. Keep sending tips, story ideas, comments, and complaints to [email protected] 

Donate to help us cover the strike for 1,400 UE members in Erie. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 751 recurring donors today. 

See yinz next week, 

Melk 

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]