Demonstrate Their RAGE
ERIE, Pa., April 11, 2002 Members of the Retirees Association of General
Electric (R.A.G.E.) demonstrated today for an increase in pensions for all GE retirees. Dozens of sign-carrying RAGE
members marched from the UE Local 506 union hall to an area just across from the east gate at GEs sprawling Erie
works to press their case. They were joined by members from Locals 506 and 618, including many department stewards who
came out of the plant to join the rally.
RAGE President Charlie Fry pointed out that it has been three years since there has been any
increase for GE pensioners. Fry talked about many calls he had received from retirees who need a raise, including a
number who could no longer make RAGE meetings because they had been forced to return to work to make ends meet. General
Electric has stated recently in reply to General President John Hovis appeal for a retirees increase that it
has no intention of doing so "at this time" (see: UE Calls on GE to Increase Retirees' Pensions).
'Demonstrating For Pension Increases
... from a Company Making Billions'
Fry stated that the fight would nevertheless continue. Nearly two dozen RAGE members are planning to
attend the annual GE stockholders meeting on April 23, 2003 in Charlotte, NC. where they will join with GE retirees
from other parts of the country to demand an increase. Both UE Local 506 President Randy Majewski and
president-elect Frank Fusco pledged the continuing support of Local 506 to RAGE. Fusco stated it was a shame that
retirees were forced to demonstrate for pension increases in light of GEs billions of dollars in profits.
GE Conference Board Secretary Steve Tormey also addressed the rally. He noted that the Company
claims that the average GE hourly retiree receives $800 a month in pension. Not only is that entirely inadequate he
said, but retirees with spouses are spending nearly $300 per month merely to participate in Medicare and the post-65
insurance plans that the Union has negotiated with GE, leaving precious little for other necessities. Instead of
offering relief for this situation, he stated that GE has strongly implied that it will seek to saddle retirees with
even more insurance costs in upcoming National Contract negotiations.
Tormey said that the Union would renew its demand for pension COLA in the upcoming negotiations for
past and future retirees, and would strenuously resist any attempts by the Company for more insurance cost shifting to
retirees as well.
Fry noted that RAGE will also be out in force at the upcoming Contract Rally in Erie, scheduled for
Saturday, May 17.
MORE PHOTOS: UE Local 506 Website