Fill out the IUE-CWA National GE Contract Survey!
Every member returning a survey is crucial to the negotiation process. It lets YOU decide what the Negotiating Committee puts on the table, and tells them where to draw the line. When added to the thousands of surveys tabulated from around the country it let’s GE know that the Negotiating Committee understands the needs and demands of the membership that will ultimately vote the contract up or down.
You can get a paper survey from your steward or a GE Campaign Captain, or you can complete it online. Your name is mandatory to verify you are a member and not management. It is important to think through each question. In the past groups of workers have filled out their individual surveys in a group setting, so you can bounce ideas off others and incorporate what you want in your individual response. You might get your group together for lunch or coffee break and get it done together. If you opt for the paper instead of online survey, make sure you don’t leave your survey laying around and return it directly to your steward immediately.
Between inflation, the company’s announced break up, rampant outsourcing, wage tier schemes, health care costs, GE workers have a lot of common issues. So tell the Negotiating Committee what you want through the survey. There are a couple issues on the survey that may need some background information:
The Department of Labor recently announced 9.1% inflation over the last year, and we are all feeling the pinch. As Union workers, we have the power to get the employer to the table. We must take on GE over the devaluation of our wages and rising cost of living. The IUE-GE National Agreement still has Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) language starting on page 142. However, the language has not been negotiated into an active status in the past 2 contracts. In 2011-2015 the now frozen COLA language yielded a modest sum of $0.65 based on a modest rise in inflation. Instead of COLA language last contract the Company offered $0.80. Had the contract unfrozen the COLA language we would as of June 2022 been up $1.87 with two more reviews before contract expiration. The next review that would have been effective in Dec 2022 would have covered October 2021-October 2022 and captured the biggest price hikes. Without the COLA we left $1.07 on the table so far, which is $2,225 over the course of a year just in straight time earnings. That would be very helpful right about now, and would have been even more by end of contract. We have surveys out in the shop, so tell the bargaining committee what you want. If you agree that COLA is an important demand this contract include that on your survey. We are a democratic organization, and your voice is what matters.
Another item on the survey is the question of successorship language. Here is the problem, we have seen a number of plants sold over the years, and have to start from scratch on a new contract with the new employer. New employers than typically throw out the GE contract and try to take everything back. Successorship language would mean that if one of our plants is sold to a new employer, they have to recognize the GE contract. Plenty of plants never thought they would be in this situation, and then were. At the division meeting we met workers formally under GE contracts, whose plants or businesses were sold, that did not have successorship language and the result was brutal. With the proposed split of GE, successorship should be on every GE Union worker’s mind. It doesn’t cost the company anything, and if they don’t plan to sell plants off they never have to worry about it. It will give sold off plants a contract to start from, instead of nothing.
Please take a minute to fill out the survey now, here.