Neal Celebrates Job Retention at CRRC
Springfield, MA, December 23, 2019
Springfield, MA – On Monday, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard E. Neal joined Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, CRRC MA President Jia Bo, Local 63 Business Manager John Scavotto, Jr., Local 7 Business Manager and Financial Secretary Dan D’Alma and workers at the CRRC-MA facility on Page Boulevard in Springfield to celebrate CRRC’s victory in the recent passage of FY2020’s National Defense Authorization Act.
This bill includes a major victory for Springfield-based company CRRC MA, as well. CRRC’s Springfield plant has secured contracts to assemble the rail rolling stock mass transit cars for the MBTA (Boston), SEPTA (Philadelphia) and LACMTA (Los Angeles). However, a provision included in the original NDAA would have prohibited these local transit agencies from contracting with CRRC, effectively eliminating any future growth opportunities. Chairman Neal was able to negotiate a compromise that allows CRRC to maintain and protect the nearly 200 employees based out of the Springfield facility.
“I am happy that I was able to work with my colleagues in the Senate to amend the NDAA language to allow CRRC MA to continue to work on secured bids,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “This compromise means that CRRC will be able to maintain and protect the nearly 200 employees based out of the Springfield facility. Employees will continue their work without disruption to existing contracts with public entities like the MBTA; which has currently placed orders for Red & Orange Line railcars at a value of $800 million. These railcars are being built for Massachusetts residents by Massachusetts residents at a competitive wage with negotiated health and retirement benefits. This employer is important to Springfield and the region.”
Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “Once again our well respected and seasoned Congressman, Chairman Neal delivers for Springfield and his district. This not only saves good paying manufacturing jobs at our CRRC plant, just as important, it allows for expansion to create more new jobs. ‘Richie’ has continued to show how to work in a bipartisan fashion to get positive initiatives done for Springfield, his district and our nation.”
“We are extremely grateful for the stern approach taken by Congressman Neal to protect CRRC’s presence in Springfield and our unionized workforce,” said CRRC MA President Jia Bo. “Chairman Neal’s advocacy in Washington supporting CRRC MA to remain a competitor in the passenger rail market was heard and we thank him for believing in what we have worked so hard to accomplish in Western Massachusetts. He has preserved our ability to compete for all vehicle procurement bids at transit agencies across the U.S. – which means local unionized jobs.”
“On behalf of Smart Local 63 in Springfield, Massachusetts I am writing to thank Chairman Neal for putting the jobs and livelihood of hundreds of our union members employed at CRRC MA’s manufacturing facility first,” said John Scavotto, Jr., Business Manager of Sheet Metal Workers Local 63. “His tenacity on Capitol Hill saved jobs for hundreds of workers right here in his own backyard -- Western Massachusetts. This was no easy feat yet he was able to negotiate CRRC MA’s ability to continue to execute and identify rail contracts which is remarkable. We can’t express how grateful we are for his unwavering support and hard work to ensure our City experiences economic growth and job creation. As we approach the holidays we thank Chairman Neal for the early Christmas present. We are proud to have him representing Western Massachusetts.”
“Local 7 just wants to thank the Chairman for looking out for the local men and women who are embarking on new careers in this growing industry,” said Local 7 Business Manager and Financial Secretary Dan D’Alma. “It’s great to see someone fighting to keep good Union jobs with great benefits.”
The changes that were made to the NDAA to protect CRRC MA include:
1. A grandfather provision that permits parties who have previously contracted to contract again. This means that CRRC is free to compete for future contracts with Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles at any time in the future.
2. A two -year grace period during which time CRRC can bid for any transit contract other than with WAMATA (Washington DC transit system). Contracts awarded between new parties during the grace period can be renewed or extended. However, no new contracts can be awarded after the 2-year grace period – unless otherwise covered by the grandfather provision.