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General Electric often brags about how it has been ranked as the "most admired" company in the U.S. But it's not hard to see that "most arrogant" or "most ruthless" is by far the more accurate description:

"Ideally you'd have every plant you own on a barge" - Jack Welch, GE CEO

"What's important is that you're agile. Ideally, you'd have every plant you own on a barge."

— Jack Welch,

Unsurprisingly, one category where GE has consistently led the way is in job elimination. GE has not hesitated to devastate its employees and indeed entire communities with policies of farmout, "sourcing", runaway, and shutdown, in furtherance of its insatiable quest for ever higher profits.

But GE tells us over and over that only "competitiveness" produces job security. It’s a lie, and in fact the opposite is true in their case. GE is now worth nearly thirty times more than it was in 1981 when the Welch era began. Meanwhile it has eliminated over a quarter of a million jobs, mostly in the U.S. during that time.

Fortunately, GE workers increasingly are fighting back. Here are just a few recent examples:

  • UE Local 506 and 618 members in Erie, PA have begun a campaign to insure that work farmed out due to "capacity" will be returned if and when volume-related job reductions occur in the future.

  • UE Local 332 members in Ft. Edward, NY struck on June 7 over GE’s abuse of temporary transfers, a problem caused by understaffing and arbitrary "headcount" formulas.

  • UE Local 1010 in Ontario, CA conducted successful informational picketing and demonstrations against GE subcontracting which has hurt quality at this aircraft engine repair facility.

  • UE Local 751 members in Niles, OH have refused to be intimidated by GE’s talk of "overcapacity", and have said they will not be whipsawed against other lighting division plants in any GE-devised race to the bottom.

  • Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC) union members and allies demonstrated in Memphis on June 26th in support of GE lighting division workers in that city whose plant is being shut down and whose jobs are headed for other countries — and in support of GE workers anywhere whose jobs are under attack.

It’s time for GE Workers all over the country to let the company know that we intend to defend ourselves against their "Scorched Earth" job elimination policies — it’s about our families, our futures and our communities.

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United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)

One Gateway Center • Pittsburgh, PA 15222 • 412-471-8919


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