Wabtec seeks injunction against Erie's plant picketers – News – GoErie.com


The company has asked a judge to intervene as the strike begins its fourth day.

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp. asks a judge to intervene in the dispute with striking employees who have cluttered the entrances to his Erie facilities.

Last Thursday, Wabtec filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking a court order prohibiting members of the United Steelworkers' Union of Electricians, Radio and Machine America from "mass strike in facilities." from or near Wabtec ".

The claim states that trade unionists chanted sexist and homophobic insults in an attempt to intimidate employees who cross the picket line to continue working during the strike.

A judge will probably rule on the motion quickly, but no hearing on the motion has been scheduled for late Thursday.

Scott Slawson, President of Local 506 of the EU, said he was not surprised by the filing of the injunction by the company.

"It's standard," he said. "We expected it from the start."

Wabtec's application asks a judge to prohibit union members from interfering with Wabtec's commercial activities, blocking the entrances to the facility or filming anyone entering the premises.

It also calls for the ban on "picket lines, other than peaceful, with more than three pickets spaced at least 10 feet" at any entrance to the Wabtec facilities.

The motion includes a request for the Erie County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies to apply the injunction if granted.

"Wabtec officials have repeatedly asked for police protection, but despite these requests, the police have not been able to provide protection due to limited resources or the impressive number of pickets" , the company wrote in a memorandum accompanying his request. and the resulting irreparable harm can be avoided only if the Court grants the requested injunction forthwith. "

Police are present on the picket line and agents have helped escort workers to the property.

Wabtec also asks a judge to ask the union to keep an accurate picket log, with the names and addresses of all picketers, and to designate a picket line captain for each team who can ensure compliance with the rules. injunction if granted.

During the first three days of the strike, the picketers gathered at the entrances to the former GE Transportation plant in the Lawrence Park Township, owned by Wabtec since Monday.

Salaried workers entering the factory slowly relaxed their vehicles among the mass of people who came in and out every day.

In more than 100 pages of exhibits and affidavits filed with the preliminary injunction application, employees described insults at the hearing aimed at "employees, Wabtec seniors and gay men" while their vehicles were encircled. One woman said that her car had been locked while she was crossing the crowd.

Slawson acknowledged that emotions are alive when paid employees walk through the doors of work.

"It's not supposed to be a fun tour through the picket line," he said. But Slawson said that the EU had not received any complaints from the Erie Township Police or Lawrence Park, who had reported that its members had followed the instructions.

"The police did an amazing job," Slawson said. "I can tell you that we do not want to see anybody hurt, we do not want to see bad comments, we do this in people, you follow the rules of picketing."

Slawson acknowledged that experience and face-to-face confrontations make the experience unpleasant for those who cross the line.

"A lot of that is drummed-up," he said. "They will use a peaceful demonstration to say that their car has been damaged."

You can reach Madeleine O'Neill at 870-1728 or by email. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNoneill.

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