GE, Unions Reach Tentative Agreements On New Contracts
Erie, PA –– On Sunday night, June 19th, 2011, GE reached tentative agreements on new labor contracts with national leaders of its two largest unions, IUE-CWA and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), after four weeks of intense negotiations. The agreements are subject to review by union negotiating committees and ratification by union members by June 30, 2011. In Erie, PA, UE members will vote on Wednesday, June 29.
GE’s existing four-year national contracts with IUE-CWA and the UE expired at midnight on June 19, 2011.
The four-year job packages provide gains in wages, pension and job and income security. In terms of health care, GE and its Unions have agreed to an affordable health care plan tailored to meet the needs of production employees that offers expanded coverage. The contract provisions will also be extended to additional unions that have local contracts with GE.
IUE-CWA President Jim Clark said, “I congratulate our negotiating committee on working hard to reach an agreement that addresses critical issues for both our union members and the Company.”
IUE-CWA GE Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor said, “This was a hard-fought negotiations. We’ve made significant strides from where we started to reach a deal that we can bring back to the members. The contract also offers a special early retirement window for long-service employees, a key issue for our union members.”
Clark and Santamoor are recommending acceptance of the tentative agreement to the IUE-CWA negotiating committee and the conference board.
UE General President John Hovis said, “While the proposal contains important improvements and advances, it also contains certain disappointments. However, given the current economic climate overall it’s an agreement we can support.”
Hovis is recommending acceptance of the tentative agreement to the UE negotiating committee and conference board.
GE Vice President John Loomis said, “We have achieved our goal of creating a fair and balanced contract that continues to provide excellent pay and benefits to our employees while allowing GE to remain competitive. The new contract is endorsed by the union leadership and benefits the Company. It proves why GE jobs continue to be among the best in the country.”
The IUE-CWA/GE local union leaders will meet Wednesday to review the tentative agreement and decide whether to submit it for a ratification vote. The UE/GE Conference Board will meet Tuesday to review the contract and on Thursday will make a recommendation to its members. If recommended for approval by union leaders, the ratification votes will be conducted by June 30.
The unions affected by these tentative agreements represent approximately 15,200 GE employees in the U.S. These unions are members of the Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC) of GE Unions.
National negotiations are conducted with IUE-CWA and the UE, and local contracts are negotiated with other CBC unions.
The IUE/CWA represents about 7,900 GE employees and its labor agreement covers GE locations including Louisville, Ky. (GE Appliances); Lynn, Mass. (GE Aviation); and Schenectady, N.Y. (GE Energy). The UE represents about 3,100 employees and its labor agreement includes Erie, PA (GE Transportation) and Fort Edward, NY (GE Energy). Contracts negotiated with additional unions at the local level represent the remaining 4,000+ unionized employees.
For more information, visit www.ge.com/negotiations.
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aviation and power generation to financial services, healthcare solutions, oil and gas and rail, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
About GE Transportation
Established more than 100 years ago, GE Transportation, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a global technology leader and supplier to the railroad, marine, drilling, mining and wind power industries. GE Transportation provides freight and passenger locomotives, signaling and communications systems, information technology solutions, marine engines, motorized drive systems for mining trucks and drills, high-quality replacement parts and value added services. GE Transportation is headquartered in Erie, Penn., and employs approximately 10,000 employees worldwide.