January 26, 2019

Western New York union members hold #NewEraHatsOff rally to protest closure of New Era’s Derby production facility

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
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Caption: Assemblymember Sean Ryan joins labor activists Saturday at a rally to save union jobs at New Era Cap's plant in Derby. Photo by Matt Smith.

BUFFALO, N.Y. Jan. 26 2019 — Dozens of Western New York union members rallied Saturday at New Era Field in Orchard Park to show solidarity with the employees of New Era’s Derby production facility, which the company is slated to close in March.

Members of the Western New York Area Labor Federation — led by the Lake Shore Central Teachers Association — were joined by Assemblyman Sean Ryan, U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, Coalition for Economic Justice Executive Director Rev. Kirk Laubenstein and the Western New York Occupational and Environmental Health Center to call out New Era for choosing profits over people.

The #NewEraHatsOff rally comes as the company plans to cut nearly 200 union jobs in Western New York in favor of exploiting underpaid non-union workers in the deep south. The rally is the first in a series of planned actions protesting the closure of the Derby production facility.

The Western New York Area Labor Federation has launched to organize supporters of the effort.

“It is shameful that New Era is putting corporate greed ahead of the hard-working men and women who in some cases have worked for decades at the Derby facility,” said Joe Cantafio, Western New York Area Labor Federation General Vice President and West Seneca Teachers Association President. “We will continue reminding CEO Chris Koch that there is a cost to choosing profits over people.”

“For a number of families in the Lake Shore Central School District, the New Era’s Derby facility is an important source of steady work and good wages,” said Michele Amoia, PAC coordinator for the Lake Shore Central Teachers Association and a NYSUT Regional PAC coordinator. “We refuse to stand idly by as New Era chooses to play games with these men and women and their children.”

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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