Brendan Keany

Rally to save New Era jobs

" Erie County and the ECIDA stands ready to save these jobs"

December 10, 2018 - 7:24 pm
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BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - New Era is set to close its Derby plant in March, but local officials and labor leaders aren't giving up just yet.

A rally was held outside New Era headquarters on Delaware Ave. last night to try to convince the company to stay in Western New York. 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Assemblyman Sean Ryan joined with American Labor Federation leaders to vent their frustrations.

"An international design firm coupled with local union labor - what could be better?" asked Ryan. "But New Era recently announced they're going to do a thing called a pivot."

The company has stated its intentions of closing the Derby plant, and laying off 219 workers, back in early November. It appears a safe bet that New Era will make the move to Florida official in March.

Poloncarz says that he has met with New Era leadership recently to say that Erie County is willing to figure out how to keep New Era here, and he was basically told the plan is still to move.

"I, as well as my staff and members of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, met with President Koch and others not too long ago," he said. "We pledged our full support to do what it took to save these jobs here in Western New York from Erie County and the ECIDA, and I tell the same to leadership today if they can hear me - Erie County and the ECIDA stands ready to save these jobs."

As numerous people spoke, Ryan said that New Era is a company that Buffalo, as well as its workers, is proud of.

"You see the All-Star Game, you think the same thing. You see those hats? Made in Buffalo - we like that, right?" he said. "A World Series commemorative cap. Every year, someone wins the World Series, they pop a hat on their head...you know where that hat is made? Buffalo...we're proud of it."

Of course, if the plant does end up shutting down, that will bring with it a fairly significant economic impact, specifically in the Town of Evans.

"This is about protecting jobs, saving jobs in our region," said Poloncarz. "Assemblymember Ryan is corect - we work every day in Erie County government to bring new businesses to our community, to show them why they should be in Western New York, because of the tremendous workforce we have, a workforce that no one else can beat when it comes to productivity and efficiency."

Here are some more pictures of the event:

Brendan Keany

Brendan Keany

Brendan Keany

Brendan Keany

Brendan Keany

Hear the entire rally below:

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