Want strong workers? You’ve got them in Erie, Pennsylvania.
When General Electric’s business boomed, they hired some of the best, hard-working, skilled labor from all over the city. Other manufacturers were angry. GE enticed some great workers to leave their jobs and come work for them. They added some of the city’s best skilled labor to their own great workforce, and the result is these strong men and women now stand arm in arm in sub-zero wind chills fighting to keep middle-class jobs in the city they love.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have strong workers who are weak people. These individuals will help your company thrive. Be glad for their strength. They want your company to succeed. They want sustainable work for future generations.
They want to work.
Negotiate. Get them back to their jobs. Let them prove themselves.
To economic leaders
Do you want more jobs in Erie? Tell manufacturers and corporate America about the strength of our region. For once, the country is watching Erie, Pennsylvania. Don’t waste this opportunity.
Get economic leaders who feel Erie’s skilled labor are paid too much away from the table. We don’t need their negativism. The truth is, corporate America would like nothing more than to push skilled labor like ours out of the middle class and into the working poor.
Yes, unions are not perfect. But they are absolutely necessary to sustain the middle class. Without them? Our country will erode into two classes: the rich and the working poor.
Please, sit down with our unions today and use this brief yet vital opportunity of being in the lime light to show a unified effort to attract businesses. Showcase Erie as strong, skilled and resilient. Sell our work ethic. Our love of our region. And if you don’t believe Erie is strong, skilled, and resilient, at least get out of the room and let the rest of us fight for our lives.
To the union workers
Stay strong. The strength of a man doesn’t show in his economic status. It shows in his soul. This fight is bigger than all of us. Whether you know it or not, you are in the fight of your lives to help keep the middle class, not only in Erie, but in our entire country.
When you get back to work, and hopefully you will soon, work your tails off. Show them just how strong Erie is.
Cyndie Zahner has lived in the Erie community her entire life. She is a retired grant writer/administrator, and now writes fiction novels. Her husband, brother-in-law, and nephew-in-law work at Wabtec. Her brother, Mike Filutze, is a GE retiree. Her father-in-law, Edwin Zahner, was a proud GE employee for thirty-seven years. Follow Cyndie on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, LinkedIn and purchase her books on Amazon. See her BookCircle Online interview at here.