Machinist union to fight New York Air Brake’s layoff of 125 Watertown employees

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — A union has announced that it will fight New York Air Brake’s decision to lay off employees in Watertown.

Following an announcement made on Wednesday by the New York Air Brake, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers stated that it will fight the decision to move jobs to Mexico. Specifically, NYAB confirmed that it will launch production in Acuna, Mexico, shift capacity and production scope at three facilities and lay off 125 employees in Watertown.

In response, IAM released District 65 Directing Business Representative Ron Warner and IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant issued statements. Both confirmed plans to fight this transition. Each statement is included below.

The closure announcement from New York Air Brake is a blow to the 125 Machinists Union members at the Watertown plant. Their decision to close this plant after 130 years is concerning, but what’s even more troubling is the announcement to move these jobs to Mexico and other non-union facilities. Our members at the Watertown facility had felt optimistic about their future when a rail industry report by U.S.-based Grand View Research, Inc. reported that increasing tourism will help boost the demand for passenger rail travel around the globe through 2025. It’s shameful that this profitable company is ending the careers of these dedicated employees.”

Ron Warner, District 65 Directing Business Representaive, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

“As our politicians are on the cusp of passing one of the biggest investments in our country’s infrastructure, including funding for rebuilding the nation’s passenger and freight rail, our members are left wondering about their futures in upstate New York. Our union did not support USMCA because we knew this trade agreement wouldn’t stop the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs, like the good-paying jobs at the Watertown facility, from being moved to Mexico where they can pay workers lower wages. The IAM will commit every resource and relationship to ensure we get clear answers on why the company is moving jobs south of the border to Mexico. We will continue to work on behalf of the more than 125 workers affected by a decision that will have a devastating impact on our members, other workers in the plant, and the Watertown community. We will sit down with the company to discuss the next steps and our next course of action.”

Brian Bryant, Eastern Territory General Vice President, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

New York Air Brake, LLC is a global manufacturer of train control systems for the railroad industry. It is located on Starbuck Avenue in Watertown, New York.

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