© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Workers Striking at Eastman Machine Plant in Buffalo

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Some local workers continue walking the picket lines outside a downtown manufacturing facility.

Members of the United Auto Workers Local 936 walked off the job a week ago at Eastman Machine on Washington Street. The UAW contact expired last September. Striking worker Paul Witucki says since that time the union has been unable to reach a new deal with the company. He says their biggest concern is job security.

"A lot of our machine shop jobs have been going over to China," Witucki said. "We are trying give the company some help on health care, but they just won't meet us half way."

Workers say that the company also owns a factory in China. They say they believe that Eastman will eventually move all jobs overseas. Striking worker David Gee, an assembler at the facility, says too many local jobs have been outsourced.

"If we had more good paying jobs in Erie County, instead of outsourcing the jobs from the region, maybe this area would not be in the mess it is in right now," Gee said. "You would have people paying taxes into the system, rather than sucking the the system dry through welfare and other supplemental systems. I feel ashamed hat this is happening."

Eastman makes cloth cutting and cloth spreading machines. UAW leaders say so far the company has cut 20 jobs with some work shifted to China. Eastman officials were not available for comment.