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UE-GE National Contract Negotiations



Week of 6.19:
• Saturday, 6.24
• Friday, 6.23
• Thursday, 6.22
• Wednesday, 6.21
• Tuesday, 6.20
• Monday, 6.19

Large Table:
Thursday, 6.15
Wednesday, 6.14
• Tuesday, 6.13
Thursday, 6.8
Wednesday, 6.7
• Tuesday, 6.6
• Thursday, 6.1
• Wednesday, 5.31
Tuesday, 5.30
Opening Statement

(full text)

• Back to main UE-GE Contract 2000 Information page

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The GE Pension Plan: Giving Us the Business

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GE's Competition? There Isn't Any!

More Info

• UE has represented thousands of General Electric employees under a UE-GE national contract since 1938.

• We are one of only two unions holding a national agreement with GE.

• There are 14 unions with GE members which have joined together in the Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC) of GE unions.

• UE-GE Contract 2000 Archives page ...

Monday, June 19th

'Three Weeks
Of Bargaining
Haven't Changed
GE's Mind'

Small Table Report
Monday, June 19th, 2000

With one week to go before the expiration of the UE-GE National Contract, negotiations began today at the "small table." Joining UE General President John Hovis and UE-GE Conference Board Secretary Steven Tormey, were representatives of the IUE, IBEW, IAM and UAW.

It soon became apparent that three weeks of negotiations have failed to change GE’s mind about much of anything.

In reviewing the talks so far, GE made it plain that they remained determined to shift more medical costs onto employees; that any pension changes would be in the context of the "three-legged stool" concept of retirement income; that the company desired a long-term contract of five years or more; that GE was unwilling to, in any fundamental way, limit their claimed "right" to move or eliminate jobs; and, that the company considers itself able to "attract and retain" employees as things stand now when it comes to wages and benefits.

Union negotiators took strong exception to all of these company positions. The discussion, for the most part, was a replay of similar arguments that have taken place between the company and the unions over the preceding weeks, months and years. In addition, the entire union committee expressed opposition to the idea of a contract longer than three years.

Perhaps the day’s only positive note came when GE’s chief negotiator, Dennis Rocheleau, indicated that the company was not planning to include any lump-sum payments in its wage proposal. Rocheleau did not, however, absolutely rule this out, depending on circumstances.

It appears that GE is once again employing its usual strategy of driving down expectations as much as possible. In this way, a few crumbs that may come across the table later in the week will look good by comparison. Accordingly, it should come as no surprise that GE has stated that it will lay out its full proposal on medical insurance in the morning session tomorrow. This will, in all probability, be the worst and most regressive part of GE’s contract proposal. After that, we expect that there will be nowhere to go but up. But how far up is anyone’s guess.

Tomorrow afternoon will be devoted to pensions. If the past is any guide, we can expect a low-ball pension offer. Remember, according to the company, the $25 billion of overfunding in the pension trust is irrelevant to our level of pension benefits!

GE expects to complete the presentation of all the main components of its contract "offer" by the end of Wednesday’s afternoon session. We’ll have a better idea of where we stand by then.

The two "large table" subcommittees will get underway tomorrow, with one devoted to benefits (primarily insurance and pensions) and the other concentrating on contract language. UE Local 506 Business Agent Pat Rafferty will serve as a co-chair of the contract language subcommittee. Also on hand for the final week are Bob Brown and Joyce Sumner of Local 332; Dave Adams, Local 506; Betsy Potter, Local 618; Chris Barrickman, Local 731; Bill Callahan, Local 751; Ted Bradley and Nita Gonzalez of Local 1010 and International Representative Chris Townsend.

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