IBEW Local 1464 members are on strike at Wabtec in Kansas City, MO. The facility that is represented by IBEW Local 1464 is located at 10707 North Pomona Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. Local 1464 represents approximately 118 employees at the Kansas City facility.

Wabtec Corp. was formed by the merger of Westinghouse Air Brake Company and Motive Power in 1999. Wabtec acquired General Electric Transportation in 2018 and the facility was taken over by the Wabtec Corporation. A new contract was negotiated with IBEW Local 1464 effective February 2019 through September 25, 2022. Wabtec is a company with over 150 years in business, operates in more than 50 countries with over 27, 000 employees and had 2021 revenue of over 7.8 billion dollars.

The major issue facing members is misclassification of workers which has resulted in lower wages. Wabtec utilizes wage comparisons for assemblers, however employees of the KCR perform heavy industrial remanufacturing of locomotive traction motors. The work is not the same.

The average hourly wage of employees at the Wabtec KCR facility is less than $21.00 dollars an hour. Currently they have a two-tier pay schedule. The first tier was put in place in 2008 and the second wage tier was put in place in 2016 at a lower rate. The union is trying to get rid of that two tier system where workers doing the same work have different pay scales.

The company also brought in five van loads of scabs to replace the workers on strike. Many are from out of town, and from southern anti-union states. The workers are being paid over $30 per hour and per diem.

Rob Watson, IBEW Local 1464 strike captain said that a strike was the last option. “They literally submitted one contract offer in negotiations, which our membership rejected by over 95%. They refused to negotiate after that. They truly have no respect for what we do. We certainly feel we are worth more than they do.”

During the pandemic workers continued to show up and keep the business open, yet, when the company received American Rescue monies they chose not to share with the workforce. Workers stated they were concerned over safety issues, a recent incident involved a disgruntled worker bringing a gun to work and threatening others.

‘One Day Longer, One Day Stronger’. Show your support for these striking IBEW Local 1464 members. The strikers are working the picket line in 4-hour shifts starting at 5am until the end of the work day.