GE began negotiations this week on a new national contract with unions representing appliance manufacturing and other workers. Negotiations began with the International Union of Electronic Workers/Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Contracts with other unions will be negotiated at the local plant level. GE holds separate talks with each union. The current four-year contracts with the unions expire at midnight on June 19, 2011.
"Our goal is to negotiate a competitive and fair contract that will provide employees with good wages and excellent benefits,” said Mike DeSantis, GE’s chief negotiator. “The contract must also be based on current and projected economic realities with provisions that will keep our businesses competitive going forward.”
Some 15,200 union-represented GE employees are covered by the negotiations. The IUE/CWA represents about 7,900 GE employees and its labor agreement covers GE locations including Louisville, KY (GE Appliances); Lynn, MA (GE Aviation); and Schenectady, NY (GE Energy). The UE represents about 3,100 employees and its labor agreement includes Erie, PA (GE Transportation) and Fort Edward, NY (GE Energy). The contracts negotiated with other unions at the local plant level represent the remaining 4,000-plus unionized employees.
GE employs 133,000 people in the United States and has announced the creation of more than 6,500 manufacturing-related jobs since 2009. About one-third of these new jobs are unionized.
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