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FreightCar America to local union: Negotiate agreement that cuts labor costs or Johnstown plant could close

Bargain an agreement that helps reduce labor costs or brace for a plant closing. That’s the message FreightCar America Inc. officials recently sent to the local union representing workers at the rail-car builder’s Johnstown, Pa., plant.

Officials informed union representatives that labor costs are “uncompetitive” and the plant might close if costs aren’t reduced because production has been affected by a recent downturn in the rail-car industry, according to a statement prepared by FreightCar America.

“The best way for the union and employees at the Johnstown facility to secure the future is to work under a collective bargaining agreement that provides for competitive wages, work rules and benefits that are appropriate in today’s marketplace,” said Tom McCarthy, FreightCar America’s senior vice president of human resources.

FreightCar America, which also operates plants in Danville, Ill., and Roanoke, Va., builds coal, flat, coil steel, mill gondola, steel hopper and intermodal cars, and motor vehicle carriers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/21/2007