GE Workers Rally
For Fair Contract
Updated: 6/26/00, adding 6/23 Ontario
Local 1010 members in Ontario, Calif. tell the company they
back the UE negotiating committee and the union’s bargaining goals at
rallies on June 16 (above) and June 23 (top photo).
At the Erie rally, clockwise from upper left, Erie GE workers listen to the report from
negotiations; members of the rank-and-file team that ensured the rally came
off without a hitch; the rally attracted more than 2,500 workers, including
members of UE-GE Locals 506 and 618 in Erie and
their families, as well as GE workers from a number of other locations and unions.
In recent weeks, General Electric workers rallying to support the
union’s demands for substantial wage and benefit improvements as negotiators
met in New York City.
With contract expiration nearing, members of UE Local 1010 at
the GE jet engine repair facility in Ontario, Calif. turned out in force for
rallies on June 16th and again on June 23rd that showed enthusiastic support for the UE bargaining goals.
On June 3, the largest of a series of rallies sponsored by the
Coordinated Bargaining Committee of GE Unions took place in Erie, Pa., hosted
by UE Locals 506 and 618. Some 2,500 attended, from a number of GE locations
as far away as Fort Wayne, Ind. and Lynn, Mass. These members of UE, IAM,
IFPTE, the IUE and other CBC unions expressed their determination for a fair
UE District Six locals were there in support, and District Six
Pres. John Lambiase was a rally speaker. CBC Chair Ed Fire (who
is also president of the IUE) addressed the rally, as did other IUE and UE
leaders from major GE plants.
'IT'S NOT ENOUGH!'
UE Genl. Pres. John Hovis pounded GE’s greed,
decrying the company’s demands for cost-shifting and a cheap settlement
despite its 1999 profit bonanza of $10.7 billion. After reviewing UE’s
demands for a fair and balanced agreement, Hovis declared to prolonged cheers,
"GE must recognize the contributions made by our members... and to what
they offer, we say, it’s not enough."
The UE president helped bring the rally to a dramatic
conclusion by proclaiming the CBC slogan "Get Up, Stand Up!" — and
as he did, fireworks went off, balloons dropped from the ceiling of the Gannon
University auditorium and a multi-racial band began playing Bob Marley’s
stirring "Get Up!"
Members of the Retirees Association of General Electric (RAGE)
served picnic lunches at Perry Square following a march at the rally’s
UE News - 06/00