Membership Approves Agreement to Offset Transfer of Work from GE Lynn
Agreement Reached On Transfer of Work from MPO, TEPM, & Platinum
On January 14th, the Company notified the Union of their decision to transfer 104,000 labor hours of ongoing production work from MPO, TEPM, and Platinum Cell, which started a long bargaining process. The 201 Bargaining Committee relied on the expertise of the members in the affected areas, and made numerous proposals based on member input to keep this work in the plant. Local 201 enlisted Congressman Moulton, Senator Markey, and Senator Warrens office to demand the company cancel the transfer of work. We invited Congressman Seth Moulton into the plant to see the areas and hear from workers in affected areas and Senator Markey met with us at the Union Hall, after the company denied him access to the Plant, to do the same.
We protested in Boston at the GE HQ with many labor, environmental, and community allies.
Hundreds of postcards were signed by members to call on these elected officials to fight the transfer of work. The campaign 201 members and allies have been building meant the difference between getting some work, or getting none. We have to keep up the momentum if we are going to save our plant from outsourcing and disinvestment.
Upon investigation of the Company’s claims and the Union’s review of Company load studies, it was clear to your 201 Bargaining Committee this work could stay in Lynn, with the only limiting factor being the company’s willingness to keep it here. The Company was and is dead set on this work leaving Lynn, they say so they can focus on reducing delinquency (untimely delivery) in other parts of the plant. We all know hiring where they need people would be better for the plant than offloading work and continuing to let employment numbers dwindle. While our contract gives us the right to bargain over the Transfer of Work (TOW), it does not give us the right to keep them from doing it after the bargaining period expires, short of laying in front of the truck. If no agreement is reached the Union can only hold the intended TOW up for 6 months from the date of notification. However, negotiating even when the scales are tipped against us bears much better results than having no contract, or no union. If we didn’t have a Union, we wouldn’t have to be notified or given any information, let alone make proposals, and finally agree to bring work to back to offset the transfer. Negotiating is only one piece, the fight back of 201 members and our allies in the streets, outside the board rooms, and on the shop floor is what created the conditions to win the 27,500 labor hour commitment to offset the transfer of work. This is why we fight. Solidarity and exercising our power as organized workers is what makes the difference between getting nothing or getting something to build on.
The agreement was handed out, discussed, and approved at the membership meeting on April 26th. The agreement commits to bringing in some farmed out or new work. The give from the Union is on waiving what’s left of the 6-month waiting period (7 weeks), the most significant gain is a written commitment to farming in 27,500 labor hours of other work.
Highlights of the Transfer of Work Offset Agreement
- The Company will bring in 27,500 hours of new or farmed out work into the Plant by the end of 2023. This work will be tracked through the agreed upon notification process to the Union. The Company will provide drawing numbers with operations, and estimated hours at the time- no wondering whether the work ever comes in.
2. The Union will waive the remainder of the 6-month waiting period in Article XXII 5. (b) (1) for TEPM and MPO that started on January 14th 2022. This would give the Company the right to move the work upon ratification of this agreement April 26th, instead of waiting until June 2022.
3. The company said they wanted this work out to move the skilled labor in other areas like RPMO, Blue Cell, TPMO. So, the Union Bargaining Committee submitted a merger proposal to the Company to simply merge the affected cells with the cells the company needed the heads in. Merge Platinum Cell to Blue Cell and MPO and TEPM to RPMO. However, the company was dead set on not doing this work in TEPM and MPO. Merging cells is not new and is something that has been done in the past, as recently as 2020. When orders dropped the company rather than laying off and transferring out of building 66, the company notified the Union on their intent to merge Ivory and Silver cells, currently Platinum, the Union and Company negotiated that merger.
4. There will be 100% backfill of any members that retire and receive a Special Retirement Bonus (SRB) under Article XXII. Any member eligible that elects to take an SRB, the company will hire 1 for 1 and place in classifications determined by the Company.
5. Upon ratification the company will rescind the Platinum TOW. This is contingent on reducing delinquency to 9.5 weeks by 10/30/2022 (The “strings attached” portion of the agreement). If delinquency is reduced the company commits to bringing in an additional 25k hours of NEW work, this is in addition to the 27,500 hours, and 3 million dollars of investment in new machinery in LCM. Should delinquency not be reduced the company may Re-serve the Platinum Transfer of Work Notice, if they do, the 6-month waiting period shall not apply.
6. The Company and Union will form 2 joint committees, one to discuss delinquency, and one to discuss training.