On September 19th, FreightCar America [“FCA”], a manufacturer of freight rail car rolling stock, announced their intentions to begin manufacturing operations in Castanos, Mexico. In a joint venture with Fasemex, a Mexican manufacturing and servicing company, FCA will begin operations by mid-2020.
This comes on the heels of an earlier announcement in July that FCA will be closing their facility in Roanoke, Virginia, and eliminating 200 jobs in the process. The Roanoke facility is a union shop, with almost 160 workers represented by TCU’s Carmen Division, Local Lodge 6016.
In its initial July announcement, FCA claimed that the closure was due to an industry slow-down, with the reduction in orders partially due to the implementation of “Precision Scheduled Railroading” and the warehousing of rolling stock by the nation’s Class 1 railroads.
“It’s clear that the company was not honest with its workers back when it announced the Roanoke facility’s closure in July. It’s truly sad to see a storied American company mislead its workforce and the general public, only to ship these good-paying union jobs to Mexico,” said TCU Carmen General President Rich Johnson.
“Roanoke is a wonderful community and the loss of these high-wage jobs will be felt throughout the region. The Roanoke facility was known for being productive and profitable – often identified by customers as the preferred manufacturing facility for their orders,” said Johnson.
The closure of Roanoke leaves FCA with one remaining U.S. manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
“It’s a damn shame that our government continues to let these greedy corporations ship our jobs to Mexico,” said TCU National President Bob Scardelletti. “For some corporations, simply being profitable is never enough – especially when they can ship jobs overseas and pay workers pennies on the dollar. We wish all the best to the workers in Alabama, but with Mexican operations coming online next year, I fear their days may be numbered as well.”
“After over a century of American manufacturing, maybe FCA should be honest by changing their name to ‘FreightCar Anywhere-but-America.’”