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Lipsitz says labor struggles at Wendt, New Era are top of mind

Workers' struggles at Wendt Corp. and New Era Cap remain key issues to the local labor movement, said Richard Lipsitz Jr., president of the Western New York Area Labor Federation.

Workers at Wendt in Cheektowaga are still trying to secure a first contract, after voting to join Shopmen Ironworkers Local 576 in June 2017.

"While progress has been made, this struggle is not yet a success," said Lipsitz in prepared remarks at the organization's annual meeting on Saturday in Amherst. "The (federation) will support in any way deemed proper until a victory is achieved."

Lipsitz also criticized New Era Cap and its owner for deciding to shut down manufacturing at its Derby plant, affecting over 200 workers. Some of that production will shift to Florida.

"No one is happy about this outcome, and we will never forgive the Koch family for what they have done to our community," Lipsitz said.

The Western New York Area Labor Federation consists of five central labor councils in Western New York, with over 130,000 members.

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