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Workers At Ex-GE Transportation Plant Near Erie Go On Strike

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An aerial view of Westinghouse Airbrakes Technologies Corp. near Erie, Pa.

Workers at the former GE Transportation plant in northwestern Pennsylvania have gone on strike.

The Erie Times-News reports that employees at the plant now owned by Westinghouse Airbrakes Technologies Corp. hit the picket line in Lawrence Park Township early Tuesday.

Leaders of UE Locals 506 and 618 said in a statement that they were unable to convince the company to negotiate what they called an "acceptable short term agreement that preserves the wages, benefits, and working conditions" for the 1,700 employees.

Union members voted Saturday to authorize a strike if necessary if an agreement was not reached on a new contract, the first strike authorization approved since 1969 at the Lawrence Park plant. Wabtec called the vote "disappointing" and said it had been negotiating "in good faith."