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Local Leaders Discuss
in GE Chain


Meeting for the first time since the conclusion of national negotiations last June, delegates to the UE-GE Conference Board discussed significant changes in the company over the previous six months, and reviewed developments in their own locations as well.

Local 506 Pres. David Adams reported at the Dec. 15 meeting that more than 130 workers at the Erie location took advantage of the window feature of the Special Early Retirement Option negotiated last year. Overall, 148 UE members across the chain were able to take advantage of this provision.

Local 506 Bus. Agent Pat Rafferty, who chaired the meeting, reported on some significant breakthroughs on longstanding insurance and disability problems in the local, resulting in substantial amounts of backpay in some cases.


Conference Board delegates took a close look at GE’s $45 billion takeover of Honeywell. Research Dir. Lisa Frank traced the company’s history and analyzed its various divisions and product lines, pointing out that the acquisition will bring a significant number of manufacturing workers and union members into GE both in the U.S. and abroad. The takeover represents both an opportunity and a challenge to us.

UE’s policy of intensive membership communication and involvement was unsurpassed by any other member-union in the Coordinated Bargaining Committee, asserted Genl. Pres. John Hovis. He noted that membership involvement was the most important factor in the last round of contract negotiations. Hovis commended the GE locals for their excellent work in support of the negotiating committee. UE will continue to advocate a greater role for local officers and members within the CBC, he said.


Jeffrey Immelt will become GE’s CEO within a year. The union’s only encounter with him came during the 1995 election campaign at the GE plastics plant in Parkersburg, W. Va., Conference Board Sec. Steve Tormey reminded delegates. Delegates received copies of Immelt’s anti-union, captive-audience speech.

GE has revised its "Integrity" policy, first promulgated in 1993 in the wake of several major scandals and fraudulent activity involving GE executives. Tormey observed that the the revised policy, like the original, contains nothing about violations of labor law. Tormey also reviewed some of the numerous changes in benefits scheduled to take effect at the first of the year.

Delegates also heard a report from Political Action Dir. Chris Townsend on the recent elections and what can be expected on the political horizon.

UE News - 01/01

Home -> UE News -> 2001 Archives -> Article

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