by Kaitlyn Kozalla, staff writer
We all saw this coming. Yet, holding onto hope, many believed it would pass. During last year’s layoffs, General Electric in Erie cut nearly 1,500 employees, with another 575 positions lost as of August 2017.
The plant currently employs more than 2,500 people, but there are claims that by 2018 all work except for prototype development will be terminated. During past years, the General Electric company has been shifting to Fort Worth, Texas, where workers are not represented by a union.
“I’ve worked at General Electric for 12 years, and in this round of layoffs I will probably be affected. I guess I do not understand why the CEO of General Electric makes $81,000 a day more than I make in an entire year. I understand that companies need to be competitive in the work market, but with a company that has 20 percent of growth market each year, that’s more than any stock market or savings account you could possibly be in,” said Saegertown resident Daniel Kozalla, a machinist at General Electric.
For many, all the hope they have is in the union. On Labor Day, over 600 union members rallied down State Street in Erie to spread hope, and show their commitment to the union.
Tom Daniels, a union member of 28 years said, “It’s an assault on the working people of Erie, Pa. They are trying to beat us down, but they can’t break our union.”