New Flyer workers union to expand good, green manufacturing jobs in New York
Jamestown, N.Y. – Workers at the New Flyer bus manufacturing facility in Jamestown, N.Y., have formed a union with IUE-CWA, the manufacturing division of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service verified that a majority of the workers signed union representation cards on Thursday, and New Flyer has agreed to recognize the union. IUE-CWA now represents more than 50 workers who make components for New Flyer buses, including electric buses, and are critical to supporting green manufacturing in New York. These workers join more than a thousand workers at two New Flyer facilities in St. Cloud and Crookston, Minn. who are represented by the union.
“I never saw myself as a union organizer, but when I noticed my coworkers asking questions about what unions are, I wanted to make sure people were properly informed. I know unions stand for the interests of working people and provide protections on the job,” said Erica Ericson, Assembly Technician at New Flyer in Jamestown. “I look forward to working more closely with management and helping to build better relationships with my coworkers. Everyone should be treated equally and fairly at work.”
With a union and seat at the table, New Flyer workers in Jamestown are looking to improve relationships with management, create pathways to promotion, and secure better wages and benefits.
"We are overjoyed and excited to welcome the workers of New Flyer Jamestown into the IUE-CWA. They have sparked a light for a new day in Jamestown and a wave of new organizing throughout New Flyer,” said Carl Kennebrew, President of IUE-CWA.
New Flyer – which has a contract with the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) requiring that they manufacture in New York – has played a critical role in keeping good jobs in the state while committing to a greener future for New Yorkers. New Flyer workers are currently building dozens of zero-emission, battery-electric buses that will help New York City reduce its carbon footprint through sustainable public transportation.
In contrast, General Electric (GE) is in the process of breaking up its company to serve the needs of Wall Street speculators and has so far refused to commit to manufacturing wind turbines in New York, despite the capacity they have at their local plant in Schenectady, N.Y. Members of IUE-CWA will continue to fight to hold GE accountable to the community while expanding organizing in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, and manufacturing.