Machinists Gear Up for GE Talks

Chicago, IL, December 13, 2006 – Local and national leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) met in Chicago, IL this week to prepare for upcoming negotiations with General Electric Co. The IAM leaders agreed to resume their affiliation with the Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC), the coalition of 14 unions representing workers at G.E. facilities in the United States.

“GE is a highly successful company thanks to the skill and dedication of generations of union workers,” said IAM General Vice President Rich Michalski, who will oversee IAM negotiations with the global conglomerate. “We’re determined to reach an agreement that respects the contributions of the current workforce and ensures there will still be good jobs for the next generation of GE workers.”

The IAM represents nearly 2,500 employees at 18 GE facilities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In a recent bargaining survey, IAM members at GE identified key issues they want addressed in the upcoming negotiations, including: job security; wages; retirement and the cost of health care. “GE is well positioned financially to meet the needs of its U.S.-based workers,” said Michalski. “We’re looking forward to a successful round of coordinated bargaining with our fellow CBC unions.”

The IAM negotiated its current 4-year agreement outside the CBC structure in order to address unique concerns of its members, including the establishment of a common contract expiration date for all IAM locations.   

The current contract covering all IAM members expires on June 17, 2007. Negotiations with GE for a new agreement will commence on May 21, 2007, in New York.