FEBRUARY 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News
General Dynamics continues to cut jobs at Eynon plant
BY PAUL TUCKER
REGION, January 29th- The lay-offs at the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Eynon have increased during the past month and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Workplace Development Partnership Rapid Response Team held a information session on January 10th. The laid-off workers get help with learning how to receive unemployment benefits and what other programs are available to help them and their families cope with the job-loss.
The workers at the Eynon plant are represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union Local 1193 in Eynon and have more than 100 members currently on lay-off.
The International Association of Machinists (IAM) Union Local 847 represent the other General Dynamics plant in the region located on Cedar Avenue in Scranton. The IAM also has members on lay-off although they did not participate in the Rapid Response Team information session held at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 87 Union building in Dunmore.
The General Dynamics Land System plant recondition parts for the United States Army M1A1 battle tank while the Scranton plant mostly produces military projectiles.
The reason for the lay-offs is because of the cutbacks in defense spending, a situation that can get worse should a budget deal in Washington, DC fail to be reached in several weeks. If no deal is reached between the United States Congress and President Obama automatic cuts, called “sequestration” will take place making substantial cuts to the defense budget, effecting military contractors such as General Dynamics.
General Dynamics has been the most effected of the big military contractors with the withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Department of Labor Rapid Response Service Coordinator Ronald Vogel moderated the information session and other agencies affiliated with the group participated. The group includes representatives in finance management, career planning, reemployment services, healthcare options, unemployment benefits knowledge and supportive community services.
Ken Klinkel, President of Local 1193, attended the session and stated “sequestration” must be avoided at all cost and people should contact their federal elected officials to express that.