Wabtec Compensation vs $35 hourly Rates

Are you angry at Wabtec workers who earn $35 per hour? Before you write your letter to the editor, read this.

The Security and Exchange Commission requires compensation disclosure of all public companies. To quote their website: The Summary Compensation Table provides, in a single location, a comprehensive overview of a company’s executive pay practices. It sets out the total compensation paid to the company’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer and three other most highly compensated executive officers for the past three fiscal years. (https://www.sec.gov/fast-answers/answers-execomphtm.html).

Here is the 2018 compensation table for Wabtec:

Wabtec compensation chart

Feel free to peruse the report yourself. (https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/943452/000114036119006593/ntp10000723x1_def14a.htm#tCDA) You may also view how much stock these individuals owned at year end, shareholders who owned more than 5% of Wabtec’s common stock as of March 22, 2019 (GE owns 25%), and a variety of other information.

So why are many residents siding with these executives rather than the $35-per-hour workers?

I believe Corporate America is pitting middle-class workers against each other. (Review the recent ad Wabtec took out in a local paper.)

But my friend, Dr. Nancy Hogan, professor at Ferris State, says it best. “The economy is driven by consumers—you and me—but the rhetoric that corporations are ‘job creators’ brainwashes everyone into believing we have to take a pay cut to ‘keep the jobs’. Show me one CEO who has taken a pay cut to help either the workers or the company.  Higher wages from unions raise the wages of non-unions. But the people side with those making 300+% more than the workers rather than workers who are a reflection of themselves.”

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Cyndie “CJ” 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 InstagramTwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookBubLinkedIn and purchase her books on Amazon. See her BookCircle Online interview here.

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3 thoughts on “Wabtec Compensation vs $35 hourly Rates

  1. Michael Morris

    If there are people willing and able to perform a job for $X/hour, why would any employer pay them more? Executive compensation is irrelevant in the conversation. Do you understand the fundamentals of supply and demand? If you want to be compensated like an executive, make the sacrifices these people have made.

    • Cyndie Zahner

      So what exactly are you saying? Corporate America should pay themselves more and their workers less?
      I am absolutely not asking union members be paid like an executive. I’m saying if a company is profitable enough to pay its executives that kind of money then they can afford to preserve their decent-living wage scale for working-class employees. Yes, you can always find someone unqualified to perform a job. Some, after time, may even be trained to do the job proficiently. But many of these positions at Wabtec require the skills of machinists, drafters, electricians, tool and die makers. (Only the young and fool-hearted discount these experiences.) Training takes time. Accidents happen in these kinds of jobs.
      AND where does we-can-find-employees-who-will-accept-less-wages stop? If they lower wages to $25, then find someone to take the job at $20, Then $15. If you do not believe this is the eroding of the middle class then you are deluding yourself. I’ve said it before. I am NOT all pro-union. They are not perfect. But we need unions more now than we have in many years. This should matter not to me. I’m old and my three children have the benefit of having two parents who encouraged them to pursue school far beyond college. They will weather through. I’m concerned for those kids who do not have the benefit of my children or do not want to go to college. Some people hate reading but are fabulous with hands-on tasks. Do not underestimate or discount their value!!!
      I worry eventually there will be two classes. The rich and poor.

  2. Lisa Zdunski

    “If you want to be compensated like an executive, make the sacrifices these people have made.”

    I would be very curious to know the sacrifices these executives have made. Very curious indeed.
    Did they spend holidays and birthdays and anniversaries in the desert sucking sand carrying 100lbs of gear on a cool day at 110°? Did they watch best friends get limbs blown off by IEDs? Did they spend YEARS stationed 8,000 miles away from family and friends to be told if you want to go home, you pay for it… to the tune of $2000 per person. Oh yeah & we’re only going to pay you $2500 per month. That sir is a sacrifice. Missing the birth of your child because you’ve been deployed to fight a war you don’t agree with, that is a sacrifice. Spending years raising children alone working several jobs at a time because your spouse was KIA? That’s a sacrifice.

    Now…. of the Wabtech executives listed above,
    only 1 has served time in the military, and has come back to the States to work to the top of the ladder. In doing so, in my opinion he deserves a handsome salary. 4 or 5 million a year… iffy… but a handsome salary no less.
    Missing a weekend in the Hamptons because you were called to a meeting regarding some peons in Erie that think they deserve a fair salary, not what anyone that matters would call sacrifice.

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