Contract Updates

 

 

 

Report # 23

 IUE-CWA Votes to Accept New GE Contract Nationwide
     The IUE-CWA is reporting the following final results in the nationwide 
voting on a new 2007-2011 contract with General Electric:
           6,088 Accept (yes)
           1,657 Reject (no)


Report # 22

            Local 201 Votes to Accept Contract
     On Tuesday, June 26, 2007, the members of IUE-CWA Local 201 
voted to accept the Tentative  Agreement on a 2007 - 2011 Contract.  
     Out of a total number of 2036 eligible voters, 1559 ballots were cast,
a 76.6% voter turnout. 
     1080 voted in favor of the contract (69.3%), and 479 voted to reject
the contract (30.7%).
     Results from nationwide voting of the IUE-CWA will not be available 
until sometime Thursday morning, 6/28/07. 


Report # 21

Stewards Also Recommend Acceptance, 29-13
   201 Policy Board Unanimously Recommends
           Acceptance of 2007 GE Contract

     On Thursday, June 21, 2007, the Local 201 Policy Board voted 
unanimously to recommend acceptance
 of the 2007 IUE-GE 
“Tentative Agreement”.  Later that day, following a presentation by 
BA Ric Casilli of the details of the new agreement, the Local 201 
Stewards Council also
 recommended acceptance of the agreement 
to the membership by a vote of  29 – 13.  The Membership will vote 
Tuesday, June 26th, in the shop
.
     The 201 Leadership bodies are recommending “acceptance” of the 
agreement, despite some of the terrible increases in member 
health care
 contribution costs, increases in co-pays, and new 
co-pays.
  BA Casilli said, “We took a hit in health care costs, no 
doubt about it.  We could not beat everything back in all the 
important areas of this Contract and still get the gains we did.”
 
The Board also noted that the percentage increases in medical 
contribution were actually worse in our last contract.
     However, the Board reviewed all areas of the contract, not just 
medical. The Board pointed out that the Wage Gains (general wage 
increases
COLA, & Skilled Trades adjustment) far outweigh the 
added medical costs for members.
  Members, on average, will take 
in almost $17,000 more over four years, even after subtracting their 
medical contribution increases.  If you account for the increased co-pays 
too, the average monetary gain will still be substantial—even 
excluding overtime.  
     But the Policy Board and stewards voted to recommend acceptance 
not primarily because of the wage improvements, but because of 
improvements in our number one Local 201 priority – Pensions.  There 
were improvements
 for Current Members to the guaranteed 
Pension table
Pension supplements, a 75% Survivorship Pension 
Option.  
We also got a renewed decent Pension update.
     
We also won a significant increase for our current retirees’ 
monthly pensions
 and it was structured properly, with those retired 
the longest getting more, and built into their checks for the rest 
of their lives. 
 It was not enough, but a good “boot” nonetheless for 
our poorest retirees that we’ve been fighting about for the last 7 years! 
This is a legitimate breakthrough.
     Another significant victory was in the area of New Hires. The 
Company was thwarted from implementing their hated salaried new 
hire “DELTA” plan on union
 new hires.  The Union retained the 
new hires’ right to retire with an unreduced pension at age 60, 
the right to Pension Supplements, the right to SERO and all 
other early retirement programs, the right to an equal Disability 
Pension, and access to pre-65 medical insurance
 at 25% of the 
Plan cost.  
     
Thirty thousand current non-union salaried GE employees DO 
NOT HAVE ANY OF THESE THINGS
!  The Company’s 
Work Till You Die” proposal took a serious beating at the 
table by the Unions.  Despite GE getting their way by reducing new 
hires’ life insurance to $15,000 and eliminating their post-65 Medicare 
“supplemental insurances” (mostly impacting over 30 years in the 
future),
 the Union rebounded and won more vacation time for 
recent hires right now and increased the old unfair 2 tier 60¢ 
Night Shift Bonus to
 $1.00 per hour. A New Hire will get (accrue)
20 vacation days during their first 2 years under this new
 
Contract instead of only 5 
under the current contractIt was the 
first Contract “Vacation” improvement in years.
     The Union also retained and improved our SERO (Special 
Early Retirement Option), a critical Job & Income Security provision, 
and stopped the Company from their mission of eliminating the early 
retirement SERO “Windows”. We still have two! 
In addition, the 
Union secured new medical benefit improvements for members in the 
CMB plan, raised weekly Short Term Disability (STD) payments 
$100 over the life of the Contract, renewed and raised the Early 
Retirement Bonus from $14,000 - $16,000,
 improved some retiree 
medical coverage, and won an additional paid holiday beginning 
this year
 (201 will negotiate the specific day).
     More than ever before, this contract was about health care 
costs
—for current members, future hires, and retirees.  The Local 
201 Policy Board commits itself, and seeks every members’ help, in 
fighting for national health care reform--starting now.
     The Board felt, taking this whole package into account, that the 
positives far
 outweigh the negatives, and it is in our members’ 
best interests to approve this contract. It is clearly not worth 
striking over with a rejection vote. 
     We ask
 members to VOTE TUESDAY TO ACCEPT THE 
CONTRACT OFFER.

Informational Meetings—All Shifts
Monday June 25: 7:15 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM
St. Michael’s Hall
, 25 Elmwood Ave.

Vote in Plant
Tuesday, June 26: 6 AM to 5 PM
Tents at Fairchild St. Lot and Between Bld. 32 and RR Tracks 
(or vote at Union Hall)
Absentee Ballots Available Now at the Union Hall

JEFFREY C. CROSBY     RIC CASILLI           ALEX BROWN
        PRESIDENT        BUSINESS AGENT    VICE-PRESIDENT


Report # 20

                       THE GE CONTRACT 2007
              June 21, 2007

     The 15 person Local 201 Executive Policy Board voted today to 
unanimously endorse the “tentative” contract agreement with GE.
      The GE final offer was tentatively agreed to by top negotiators 
IUE-CWA President Jim Clark and Conference Board Chairman Bob 
Santamoor, and has been recommended unanimously by the full 
IUE-GE Negotiating Committee that includes Local 201 Business 
Agent Ric Casilli.  The IUE-GE Conference Board also voted unani-
mously to recommend acceptance of the GE contract offer. Local 201 
members of the Conference Board—President Jeff Crosby, B.A. Ric 
Casilli, and Delegates Ted Comick and Lenny Redican, all voted to 
recommend the contract offer to the membership.
                                     WAGES
     
The 4 year offer would increase wages by 3%, 2 ½ %, 2 ½%, 
and 3%.
  It includes a skilled trades adder similar to the one in the 
2003 agreement: one cent for each 15 cents above an hourly rate of 
R-18 or above, with a comparable adder for pieceworkers.  The offer 
also includes 8 Cost-of-Living adjustments with a slight improve-
ment in the Cost-of-Living formula
 to one cent for each .08% 
increase in the cost-of-living index.  There is an improvement in the 
Night Shift Bonus for short serviced employees from 60 cents 
per hour to $1.00 per hour.
      SERO/SERO 30, BONUS and SERO WINDOWS
     SERO and SERO 30 
are renewed and the BONUS options are 
improved from $14,000 to $16,000 immediately. The Special 
Supplement
 is increased from $350 to $375 per month immediately. 
The Regular Supplement
 is increased from $16 to $17 x years 
service, effective immediately, and increases to $18 effective for 
retirements beginning in July of 2009.
     There will be 2 SERO WINDOWS with modifications.  The first 
one will be offered in Oct./Nov. of 2007 to a total of 500 employees, 
and a 2nd SERO WINDOW will be offered in Oct./Nov. of 2009 to 
400 additional employees.  The determining factor for eligibility will be 
Pension Benefit Service nationwide.  Employees 50 to 54 will no 
longer be eligible
 for these SERO WINDOWS; the new eligibility 
is now age 55 to 59 with 30 years of PQS.  Replacements are no 
longer mandated
 under these SERO WINDOWS but there is 
language in the contract that allows bargaining by the Local Unions 
and GE on this subject.  It is anticipated that, in Lynn, replacements 
will be approved in most cases.
                                     PENSIONS
     The Guaranteed Pension Tables
 have been improved in several 
areas. The Minimum payment under the new tables is raised from $33 
to $34 a month per year of service.  The maximum payment under the 
Guaranteed tables has been raised from $60 a month to $70 per month 
per year of service.  Pension calculations under the Guaranteed Table 
are still based upon an employee’s Highest 3 CONSECUTIVE years 
of earnings in the last 10-calendar years prior to retirement.  The middle 
of the Guaranteed Tables have also been improved. 
     The Regular Pension formula remains the same but the breakpoint 
has been raised from $35,000 to $40,000.
     The PENSION UPDATE to the regular formula has been renewed 
and will be applicable to employees’ BEST 3 CONSECUTIVE earning 
years from 2001 through 2006.
     Pension Supplements will continue to be paid until a retiree attains 
the age to qualify for 80% of Social Security (age 63 for most 
employees).
     Effective 1-1-08, the company will offer a NEW 75% Survivor 
Option
 in addition to the 50% and 100% Survivor Options currently 
available.
     Contributions to the Personal Pension Account that currently start 
at $60,000 will now start at $70,000 enabling employees to keep an 
extra $300 per year from their earnings.
                   RETIREE PENSION INCREASE
     
The Union was able to secure a raise for Retirees thanks to strong 
support from the active memberships and retirees of all the Locals!  
This was a major win!
Increase Retiree pensions by the following:
Retired prior to 1984, increase pension by $40 x Employee PBS 
annually.
Retired 1984 thru 1992, increase pension by $30 x Employee PBS 
annually.
Retired 1993 thru 2000, increase pension by $20 x Employee PBS 
annually.
Retired 2001 thru 6-1-2003, increase pension by $15 x Employee 
PBS annually.
Example:   Retiree left the Company in 1990 with 30 years of 
service, 
$30 x 30 years of service =$900 Annually divided by 
12 = $75 a month increase.
                                      NEW HIRES
     
The Union, thanks to a strong reaction from the active employees, 
and a tough bargaining stance by negotiators, was able to retain most 
benefits for New Hires. For Employees hired after 1-1-2008: 
Optional retirement at age 60 with unreduced pension remains intact. 
Pension Supplements, Disability Pension and SERO eligibility rights 
remain intact. Retirees at age 60 or later with 10 or more years of 
service pay 25% of Medical Plan cost and Retirees under the SERO 
program pay 100% of Medical Plan costs. The Post 65 supplemental 
medical coverage is no longer available. Life Insurance is capped at 
$15,000.  The Company failed to implement most of their hated 
“work ‘till you die” proposal which they previously placed 30,000 
of their non-union salaried employees under.  This was a major win!
                              VACATION/HOLIDAY
     
Veteran’s Day has been added to paid Holidays. Application of 
this additional paid day locally will be determined by Union and 
Company. An additional week of vacation for short service members 
is added.  New hires will accrue 2 weeks of vacation to use during 
the first year rather than getting one after the first year.   They then get 
2 weeks accrued for the 2nd year.  Thus a new hire will get to use 20 
days vacation under the new contract vs. 5 days under the old 
contract in that 2 year period.  Our current employees hired in 2006 
through June 17, 2007 also gain a week’s vacation this year.
                             MEDICAL/INSURANCE
     
Increases to Insurance Contributions and New Co-pays: Weekly 
contributions for health insurance will increase twice during the 
proposed contract, on 1/1/08 and 1/1/10.  Payments will be based 
on the current system: whether one person, two people, or 3 or more 
are covered, sliding scales based on income level, and separate scales 
for HCP and traditional CMB.  Although not good, the contribution 
increases are less than last contract.  An example:
                     R-19 with spouse and child covered, 
                    yearly 40 hr. base of approx $54,492+
Current contribution         1/1/08 contribution       1/1/10 contribution
HCP   $23.35                       $33.76                            $41.52
CMB  $31.80                       $45                                 $55.01
     The contribution for a working spouse who declines their own 
insurance coverage doubles. The average Lynn member would now 
pay $30 per week.
     Co-pay increases: As of 1/1/08 co-pays for some specialists 
who are not primary care doctors will increase from $25 to $30 per 
visit. Co-pays for hospital admission are doubled from $150 to 
$300 with max of two payments per family per year. There are new 
$100 co-pays for outpatient surgeries and outpatient imaging 
such as CT scan and MRI.  There is a new three tier structure for 
prescription co-pays.  Generic drug co-pays remain the same at 
$12 for 21 days, and $20 for 90 day mail order.  Brand name 
increases from $16 to $22 for 21 days and from $36 to $50 for 
90 day mail order. There is a new category of Special that is $25 
for 21 days and $50 for 90 day mail order.
     Other improvements:  There are some improvements in CMB 
preventative care coverage
, improvements in rates for Dental 
Care, and improvements to mental health and substance abuse 
coverage.
 There is a new premium vision plan, but no improve-
ment to the regular vision careThe health care max is raised from 
$2.5 million to $3 million. The weekly Short Term Disability 
payment goes from $600 to $650 a week on 1/1/08, and to $700 
on 1/1/10.  Overall, the package increases typical union employee 
cost sharing from an average of 15% to an average of 20.5% .
                 PRE 65 MEDICAL FOR RETIREES
Health care contributions increase $2 per week per individual ($4 
week per family) for current pre-65 retirees and current employees 
who retired or became eligible to retire before Jan. 1, 2004.  All 
pre-65 retirees are impacted in the same fashion as to co-pays as 
the active members.
          POST 65 MEDICAL FOR CURRENT RETIREES
     
Increase in 1st day of hospitalization coverage is improved by 
$25 in each plan, and lifetime maximum benefits raised $25,000 in 
each of three plans. Prescription co-pays for 90 day mail order for 
retirees who were enrolled in the plan prior to Jan. 2004 are 
increased from $25 to $30.  Retail stays the same at $15. For 
those enrolled in the post 65 Pensioners Drug Plan on or after 
Jan 1, 2004, their co-pay for drugs are impacted in the same 
fashion as active members.

     Thanks to the Local 201 membership, stewards, and activists 
who stood by the future hires to beat back 4 and ½ of the 7 prong 
attack and with retirees to win a pension increase that helps the 
retirees who need it the most.  The Local 201 Stewards Council 
will meet at the Union Hall at 2 P.M. Thursday, June 21. 

The Local 201 newspaper will come out Monday morning, June 25, 
and a membership meeting will be held to hear an explanation of the 
offer and answer questions at 7:15 AM, 1 PM and 3:30 PM on 
Monday, June 25 at St. Mike’s Hall.  Local 201 will vote in the 
plant on Tuesday, June 26, from 6 AM to 5 PM.

More information should be available at union websites: 
CBC (www.geworkersunited.org) and UE (www.ranknfile-ue.org).

          IUE-CWA Local 201 Executive Board and Officers                                          


2007 IUE-CWA NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                LOCAL 201    REPORT # 19
        TUESDAY JUNE 19, 2007    11:30 AM

      The IUE-CWA National Negotiating Committee, at approximately 
10:15AM this morning, voted unanimously to go along with the 
recommendation of the CBC Steering Committee, to support the
 
acceptance of the proposed new Contract

     These recommendations now go to the IUE-CWA GE Conference 
Board, which is scheduled to convene at 8:30AM tomorrow morning (Wed., 
June 20) here in NYC. Delegates from all IUE-CWA GE Locals are 
arriving in NYC today and tonight. Local 201 President Jeff Crosby, Ted 
Comick (River Works) and Len Redican (Plant IV/Everett) will join BA 
Ric Casilli and are 201’s Conference Board delegates.


  2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                   LOCAL 201    REPORT #18
                MONDAY, JUNE 18    9:45 PM  

     The IUE-CWA/GE Negotiating Committee spent hours today studying 
the Contract Proposal and asking clarification questions in a formal meeting.  
Negotiators are continuing to review it, following the meeting, and 
tomorrow are scheduled to meet at 9:00 AM to clear up some of the 
outstanding questions. The Negotiating Committee then will vote a 
recommendation for the IUE-CWA Conference Board.

     Delegates to the Conference Board are already arriving in NYC from 
Locals around the country. The Conference Board delegates will be 
reviewing the offer Tuesday and Wednesday morning, and then taking 
their recommendation vote. 
     After that recommendation vote is completed, the Unions will be 
issuing more details of the agreement in national press releases 
and to all Locals so the Membership can review the package.
 
Local 201 anticipates having information for our members either 
Wednesday afternoon or first thing Thursday morning.


  2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                    LOCAL 201     REPORT # 17

                   SUNDAY JUNE 17,    9:15 PM

     Local 201 BA Ric Casilli was called to an IUE-CWA GE National 
Negotiating Committee tonight at 6:30PM. The “Small Table” top union 
officials informed the entire elected negotiating committee members that a 
“tentative agreement” had been reached with the “Small Table” CBC 
negotiators.  A CBC national press release went out minutes before the 
meeting announcing such. Negotiators were given the press release and a 
“Draft” of a summary of GE’s final Company offer. 
     Negotiators were told that there was to be no information to be 
given back to the Locals or memberships
 about the offer until 
Wednesday June 20th, until after the IUE-CWA National Negotiating 
Committee votes its recommendation on Tuesday and the IUE-CWA 
Conference Board votes its recommendation Wednesday. They said that 
this Policy was per agreement of the CBC (all unions) top leadership. 
BA Casilli opposed the Policy and fought the decision
 but was 
unsuccessful in changing the decision, unless other CBC unions or the 
Company break the blackout before the IUE-CWA CONFERENCE 
BOARD Delegates vote on Wednesday June 20th. Then that decision 
will be reevaluated. Also, it is the acceptance of the offer by that body 
that makes it a real “tentative agreement”, and subject then to a 
national vote of all IUE-CWA members.
 Voting with Casilli on the 
Conference Board from Local 201, will be President Jeff Crosby
and elected delegates Lenny Redican and Ted Comick.
     On Monday, June 18 @ 1:00PM the IUE-CWA National 
Negotiating Committee will be handed a complete Memorandum 
of the offer to discuss and study. That Committee will vote a 
recommendation on Tuesday, June 19.

     Below is a copy of the National CBC press release:

                                                                    For Immediate Release
     GE, UNIONS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS 
                          ON NEW CONTRACTS

NEW YORK, N.Y. – June 17, 2007
 – The General Electric Company 
and the national leaders of its two largest unions have reached tentative 
agreements on new four-year labor contracts. The agreements are subject 
to review by union negotiating committees and ratification by union 
members by June 28.
     The tentative agreements were reached Sunday after four weeks of 
intense bargaining between GE and the IUE-CWA and the United 
Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Terms of the 
new contracts will be extended to nine other unions that have local 
contracts with GE. 
     
GE’s existing four-year national contracts with the IUE-CWA and the 
UE expire at midnight tonight.  The tentative new agreements will provide 
significant improvements in wages, pensions and benefits.  
     
IUE-CWA President Jim Clark said, “GE and the unions have agreed 
to accelerate our joint efforts to address the difficult health care issues our 
nation faces. This will help to address a critical issue for not only GE 
employees but all American workers. I congratulate our negotiating 
committee members for their hard work.”
     
IUE-CWA GE Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor said, “At 
this time when our troops are in harm’s way, GE has agreed to now allow 
its workers to honor U.S. veterans with the first new holiday in a decade, 
Veterans Day. This package is a huge victory for our members.”
     
Clark and Santamoor are recommending acceptance of the tentative 
agreement to the IUE-CWA negotiating committee and the conference 
board. 
     
UE General President John Hovis said, “I think it’s an agreement our 
members will recognize as a good one. I’m especially pleased with the 
provisions that affect the shorter service people at the locations we 
represent.”
     
Hovis is recommending acceptance of the tentative agreement to the 
UE negotiating committee and conference board.
     
GE Senior Vice President Bill Conaty said, “We have achieved our 
goal of producing balanced contracts that benefit both employees and GE. 
These agreements provide employees with good wages and excellent 
benefits while allowing GE businesses to continue competing in tough 
global markets.  We have made great GE jobs even better.”
     
The IUE-CWA/General Electric local union leaders will meet 
Wednesday to review the tentative agreement and to submit it to its 
members at GE for a ratification vote.  The UE/GE Conference Board 
will meet Tuesday to review the contract and make a recommendation 
to its members. If recommended for approval by union leaders, the 
ratification votes will be conducted by June 28.  
     
The 11 unions affected by these tentative agreements represent 
approximately 20,660 GE employees in the U.S. These unions are 
members of the Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC) of GE Unions.  
National negotiations are conducted with the IUE-CWA and the UE, and 
local contracts are negotiated with nine other CBC unions.
     
The IUE-CWA and its locals represent about 10,030 GE employees at 
company locations such as Louisville, Ky., (GE Consumer & Industrial); 
Lynn, Mass., (GE Aviation); Schenectady, N.Y., (GE Energy); and 
Arkansas City, Kan., (GE Aviation).
     
The UE represents about 4,050 employees at GE locations such as 
Erie, Pa., (GE Transportation); and Fort Edward, N.Y., (GE Energy).
     The unions with local contracts with GE are: the International 
Association of Machinists (IAM); the International Brotherhood of 
Electrical Workers (IBEW); the United Auto Workers (UAW); the 
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers 
(IFPTE); the United Steelworkers of America (USWA); Sheet Metal 
Workers International Association (SMWIA); the International 
Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT); the United Association of 
Journeymen and Apprentices (UA); and Service Employees 
International Union (SEIU).


  2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                LOCAL 201   REPORT # 16
           SATURDAY, JUNE 16      8:30PM
                                     (Posted 11:45 PM)

     With the SUB-COMMITTEE Negotiations completed on Friday, the 
top Union International leaders and top Company leaders are meeting at 
what is called the “Small Table”.  All local leader bargainers are “on 
call” Saturday and Sunday and not in the
 bargaining.
     The “Small Table” met all day Saturday. A meeting was held with the 
top Union bargainers from the “Small Table”, with all the elected Local 
Union leaders, at 6:30PM tonight. 
     Local Leaders were told that “things were getting closer” but that 
they could not tell us anymore. They said ‘things were going well” and 
that “things changed a lot from yesterday”. The meeting was extremely 
short and void of any information.

     Local 201 Business Agent Ric Casilli said “it was the least information 
we have ever received in one of these sessions in the 4 National negotiations 
I have been at. The whole bargaining process has once again sucked, and 
this adds more frustration to bargainers after 4 weeks of getting no answers 
from the Company. I am glad we are being told ‘things are getting 
closer’
 but it is insulting and condescending to not give a shred of information 
to the people that have been fighting day in and day out for our members for 
4 weeks In New York City. And it is insulting to our members who are 
sacrificing and supporting this fight and are wishing to stay informed. Every 
negotiator realizes you don’t publish every detail in a negotiation, but to tell 
us “nothing” is an insult!”
     I can only suggest our members read Local 201 Report #15 for the 
latest real
 information we have from yesterday or go to the CBC (www.geworkersunited.org) or UE International Union (www.ranknfile-ue.org
websites to see if they are going to release any more information tonight about 
today’s developments. However, I doubt there will be much new on those 
sites either. If there is, then it appears the last minute information “blackout” 
is selective. 
     Local 201 will release more information as soon as any is available.
     On a more positive note, word is that the memberships of many Locals 
around the country have shown through many activities and actions this week 
their strong determination and will to secure a decent Contract….a large part 
of the reason “things are going better” reportedly at the “Small Table”.
 



 2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS

                     LOCAL 201    REPORT #15
               FRIDAY JUNE 15, 2007      11:30 PM

                 PENSION & INSURANCE SUB-COMMITTEE 
     Union negotiators today went over the specifics of our Pension 
Proposal – calling for major improvement in the Career Annuity 
formula, the Guaranteed Minimum Pension Tables, the Pension 
Update, and Pension supplements
. The Union pointed out that it’s 
proposal also had simplification aspects to it, identical formulas for 
both the Career Annuity formula and the Pension Update formula, 
while eliminating the 2 different breakpoints
 entirely. It also simplified 
and improved the years that could be used to calculate your Pension 
under the Pension Update, or under the Guaranteed Pension Tables, by 
dropping the requirement that the years used had to be
 “consecutive.” 
The Company was cautioned that any Pension Proposal offered would be 
carefully scrutinized by some major Locals looking for significant increases.
     It was also pointed out that it was a “must” that current retirees get a 
properly structured pension increase, and that an inflation protection 
clause
 was needed for both current members and retirees. 
     A number of Locals then testified that the “SERO WINDOW” was 
also a “must” to be in the Contract or it would not be recommended. It 
again was suggested “if you are so concerned about costs of the ‘Window’ 
program, then skim some monies off the huge salaries of some of the top 
executives.”  It was also pointed out that there are savings by having a 
SERO “window”, as the replacement workers are younger and usually 
healthier, more productive, with less vacation and sick time. Also, in many 
cases, they come in at lower wages under some 2 tier systems. Negotiators 
pointed out that GE could get higher skilled replacements into the plants if 
GE increased it’s commitments to community and internal training programs 
and centers. Other negotiators pointed out that the Company could save 
money by not offering our negotiated programs to anyone other then those 
in CBC Bargaining Units.
     Negotiator after negotiator vehemently attacked GE’s NEW 
HIRE PROPOSAL AGAIN
, GE’s attempt to make new employees 
“2nd class citizens by stripping them of 7 retirement and benefit rights!  
This proposal continues to annoy Negotiators big time and hardly 10 
minutes goes by in any session, where someone does not get really “ticked 
off” about it.
     New Hires and Retirees have clearly drawn the most emotional 
outbursts in these discussions
. GE, once again, was warned: do not 
shift more health care costs onto the backs of retirees!!  “They need 
medical cost relief and a dental, vision, and hearing aid plan, not new and 
increased contributions and co-pays!”
                CONTRACT LANGUAGE SUB-COMMITTEE
     The Contract Language Committee today again pushed many of their 
proposals, including improvements in Article 22 Job and Income Security 
language and paid time off.
    BOTH SUB-COMMITTEES END EARLY – FRUSTRATED
     Union sub-committee negotiators have decided, at this point, to 
end their meetings.
 In the past, they have met on Saturday. They feel all 
union proposals have been explained over and over again to the Company. 
The Company’s only response has been that the union messages on all the 
issues will be relayed to top Company negotiators at the “Small table”. 
Sub-committee negotiators feel frustrated with the entire process. Local 
201 has
 disliked this outdated bizarre process since 1994 (See 
Contract Report #1
). The feeling on the sub-committees is that there 
is no way the Company does not understand all our positions and the 
arguments for them. The big question is: are they going to take them 
seriously
 and apply them fairly, creating a decent Contract Package 
Proposal, or are they
 going to force a National Strike????
     
All sub-committee negotiators will be on-call Saturday and Sunday in 
the event the top Union “Small Table” Negotiators need them to meet 
again on any issue, or for any urgent developments.
                         THE “SMALL TABLE”
     
Top Union Negotiators thanked all the union’s sub-committee nego-
tiators for all their work in presenting the Union ’s proposals clearly, 
logically, and passionately, and sympathized with the frustrations the 
Company put them through all week with their lack of response... The 
frustrations emanate from a flawed process that the Company apparently 
thinks is fine.  Negotiators do not!!  Neither do members back in the shops 
appreciate this type of “collective bargaining” process that only increases 
anxiety!
     
On some of the major issues, this is where things are, at this point, 
according to the Unions’ top leaders:

Pensions:
 The Union has countered the Company’s original Pension 
proposal which contained some minor improvement in the guaranteed 
pension tables, contained a Pension Update of some sort, a tiny improve-
ment in the supplements, and no improvement in the Career Annuity 
Formula. It had no inflation protection clause and there were no pension 
improvements for current retirees. Today, the Company presented 
nothing new except a slight improvement on the supplements. Significant 
Pension improvements are not there.
Heath Care
: The Union and Company negotiated all morning today on 
Health care. The Union is making counter proposals to reduce terrible 
Company proposals for major cost-shifting, with huge member contri-
bution and co-pay increases,
 and additional co-pays. The Company 
moved only slightly, lowering a few co-pay increase amounts. The 
Company is considering Union demands for some improvements in the 
amount of Short Term Disability (STD) payments
New Hire Proposal:
 The Company has not withdrawn this from the 
table despite negotiators clearing telling them “IT IS HATED!!”
Job & Income Security:  
So far, the SERO and SERO 30 Programs 
will be renewed and today (as mentioned before), the Pension supple-
ments were improved slightly.
Wages
The Company made a 2nd wage proposal, after the Union had 
rejected their first one. Again, it contained only a slight improvement. The 
offer is not close to acceptable.
Early Retirement
Today, the Company agreed to one SERO “window” 
with weakened
 provisions. In the current 4 year contract we had 2 
“windows”. It is unacceptable.
Contract Language:
 The Company responded today to Union demands 
on the 60 cent Night Shift Bonus (NSB) with some sort of initial proposal 
to improve it slightly. There was some sort of Company response to shorten 
the time of the current extended new hire progression schedule, and slight 
improvements to some vacation time for lower service workers, but it was 
combined with a complicated proposal for recalculating the vacation 
multiplier. The union is reviewing this new material.  There was also 
response to some Service Apparatus shops demands concerning things 
like tools and shoes.

     There has been no response from the Company, yet, on
 many, 
many Union proposals such as (but not limited to) improvements in 
Dental and Vision Plans, and Job & Income Security language and 
benefits. 
     There has been no response to Union demands for improvements 
in Retiree Benefits such as hearing aid, dental and vision coverage.  
Instead, the Company is trying to raise retiree medical co-pay and 
contribution rates. All unacceptable!
     
The top “Small Table” Negotiators stated that they expected a long 
day of negotiating Saturday that may go well into the evening. Sub-
Committee negotiators must remain “on- call” for any urgent matter.  
Growing membership dissatisfaction is still being reported from around 
the country (see Report #14), with some additional locals reporting 
Support Protests today.

NOTE: I would like to thank so much Local 201 Officers, Board 
Members, Stewards, Captain’s, Canvassers, and Members for the 
GREAT SUPPORT you are demonstrating in Lynn . Thanks so much. 
It means a lot to me down here!!!!!   

                                        Sincerely and Solidarity---Ric Casilli


  2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                  LOCAL 201    REPORT #14

              THURSDAY, JUNE 14     9:00PM

            PENSION & INSURANCE SUB-COMMITTEE
     After hearing reports coming from the “Small Table” (that the pension 
increases being proposed by GE for current working members were 
not nearly enough), union representatives reinforced the need for significant 
pension increases for both our current members and retirees. Included in 
this need, was a demand to lower the reduction in one’s pension for taking 
Survivorship options or a Disability Pension.  
     The union continued to press for inflation protections in the Pension plan
The Company has made no
 pension proposal at all, to this point, for 
current retirees! 

     The Union slammed the negative impact of their “New Hire” proposal in 
regards to raising the age of retirement, eliminating the pension supplements, 
and reducing a low disability pension amount even lower. Union reps. are 
now referring to GE’s “New Hire” proposal as the “THE WORK TILL 
YOU DIE”
 PROPOSAL, as it also includes major health care benefit 
cutbacks and eliminations. Union reps said, “If you need to save money, 
then cut all of upper management’s salaries by a small percentage and throw 
it to help with our program costs”.
     The Union continued to make clear that it is mandatory that the SERO 
and SERO “Window” Programs are in the Contract.  
     On insurance issues, the Union spent time arguing for the Company to 
subsidize 50% of the cost of the Long Term Disability Plan and asked 
them to review blending together the Salaried and Hourly LTDI Plans to 
also help lower the major cost increases our members have absorbed the 
last 3 years. Part of the Company’s response to union demands for improve-
ments in the Short Term Disability Plan (STD) were acceptable to the 
union sub-committee, and that recommendation will be referred back to 
the “Small Table.” 
     The union said increases to contributions and/or co-pays to pre-65 or 
post- 65 retirees was intolerable and that the Union wanted the claims 
deadline extended on post-65 medical claims and the 90 day eligibility 
sign up deadline also eliminated. The Union wants the post -65 GEMIP 
(Part B supplement) paid for by GE. The Company, per usual, said they 
would refer our comments to the “Small Table.”
     The Company also had no response to our previously submitted vision 
or dental plan improvement proposals. There was some discussion around 
“dental in-plant” coverage but the Company proposal was not acceptable 
to union reps.
     All in all, union negotiators felt disgusted with the lack of Company 
response.
           CONTRACT LANGUAGE SUB-COMMITTEE
     The Contract Language sub-committee spent most of the day stating 
that the GE NEW HIRE PROPOSAL was not acceptable, nor was the 
elimination of the SERO
 WINDOW acceptable. This was interesting 
to note, as neither is really a “Contract Language” issue but are really 
attacks on early retirement, normal retirement, pension supplements, 
medical, life and disability Insurances. That ought to send GE a 
message,
 when the Union’s Contract Language sub-committee spent 
much of the day joining in with the revolt coming out of the Pension& 
Insurance sub-committee against these 2 Company proposals!!  
     The union co-chairs took GE to task for having no response 
to any of the Union’s Contract Language proposals that were 
presented to them over 3 weeks ago!!!!!!!!!!
                       THE SMALL TABLE REPORT

     Top Union leadership reported that GE presented an initial Wage 
proposal that was “meager” and contained a slight improvement in COLA. 
There was no mention of a Skilled Trades adder. The Company said 
they would renew SERO
 and SERO 30 but there were no improve-
ments offered in their renewals. The Company made no proposal on 
the
 SERO WINDOWS and has not responded to Union demands on 
them. The Company also has not responded to the Unions’ demands 
concerning the 60 cent Night Shift Bonus (NSB) issue.
     The Union made a counter offer to GE’s first low Pension proposal 
that dealt with all areas of the Pension- the guaranteed tables, the career 
annuity formulas (breakpoints), the pension update (breakpoints), and the 
pension supplements etc. 
     The Union plans to present a counter proposal to GE’s outrageous 
Health Care Proposal. That GE proposal contained huge contribution 
increases, co-pay increases, new co-pays,
 and hit both current 
members and retirees.

     One top CBC leader said “there was a tiny bit of positive 
movement today, but the Company’s movement is that of a glacier.”
           THE MOOD OF UNION NEGOTIATING TEAM

     Frustration...Frustration...Frustration!!!!!  Real Company 
responses are almost non-existent and the whole process is slow 
and repetitive. The Company has had all the Unions’ proposals for 
3 weeks and heard almost every argument for those proposals time 
and time again. They have not responded to the vast majority of 
Union proposals at all. They have presented only a few proposals 
themselves, and these of course included the “HATED 3”-  (1)their 
NEW HIRE “WORK UNTIL YOU DIE” proposal  ( with 7 prongs 
of attack on them),  (2)their outrageous MEDICAL COST 
SHIFTING proposal, and (3)their intention to ELIMINATE THE 
SERO WINDOW. Union Negotiators are not “happy campers” 
these days!!!!

     Apparently, many members in many Locals are also not happy 
campers either as reports are coming into NYC of a rash of local 
problems breaking out in many plants around the country. The 
unofficial word is that a number of 24 hour Strike Notices have 
been given, and other activities have also stepped up concerning 
a variety of local problems like farm-out, OT, seniority, bargaining 
unit work, etc.
     Reports have been heard from such locations as Schenectady, 
Louisville, Erie, Madisonville, Evendale, Strothers, Salem, Lynn 
and other various locations.
     This looks to be a long tense weekend down here in NYC too. 
It is Father’s Day weekend and a good time to relax from all this 
tenseness with family and friends.
     Negotiators will not be relaxing this weekend and are counting 
on our Membership’s support!!!!


 2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                     LOCAL 201 REPORT #13
          WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2007   9:00PM
       
              PENSION & INSURANCE SUB-COMMITTEE

     In the session today, IUE-CWA withdrew their Union Proposal for a 
flat based simplified Pension Plan formula, based on years of service (not 
wage based).
     The Union then presented a 5 point improvement to the current 
Pension Plan for current members that demanded improvements to the 
career annuity formula
the guaranteed pension tables, the current 
pension update, the regular supplement and the special supplement

In total, the Union felt the demands were in line with GE’s current Plan 
design, affordable considering the surplus in the Plan, and reasonable 
considering the serious problems that current members see happening to 
our current Retirees. This new Union proposal was only a replacement 
for IUE-CWA’s “flat based Pension Plan Proposal” that the Company 
clearly was showing no interest in. The Union still has demands “on the 
table” for a pension “inflation protection clause” for retirees and 
current 
members. The Union also has demands for a major increase 
in current retiree’s pensions. The Company said the union proposal 
was very “rich”.

     Union Representatives, led by Louisville, Schenectady, Lynn, Evendale, 
and Erie, “wailed” on the Company over their PENSION proposal to the 
“Small Table.” Negotiators declared that proposal was not close to being 
acceptable--- that all members needed a significant boost in their 
pensions,
 especially the lower wage members. 
     After a break and short caucus, the reps. from all the big Locals sat 
together and then led a charge opposing any cuts to SERO, SERO 
WINDOW, increased medical costs or co-pays to retirees, excessive 
medical costs and co-pays to current members, and the 7 prong attack 
by the Company on NEW Hires’ retirement rights and benefits. All locals 
backed up the passionate and aggressive defense with numerous logical 
economic and political arguments. The Union’s arguments have been 
repeated time and time again for weeks with little Company response.  
Many of the arguments were laid out for 3 long weeks at the “Big Table”. 
The Company asked questions, defended their proposals a bit, and replied 
once again they would “take the Union’s comments back to the “Small 
Table”.
     As 201 has predicted, frustration with the whole process finally, 
inevitably, escalated. The Local 301 representative from Schenectady 
gave an articulate and passionate speech on his feelings about retirees, 
new hires, and current members, and criticized the Company’s “smug” 
or “non-existent” responses up to this point. He basically said “we have 
made all our arguments” and it is time you give us some answers and 
“stop trying to rape us.” Within 10 minutes of this, the Local 301 
Schenectady representative stood up and said he was leaving the 
meeting. The IUE-CWA Local 201 representative (Lynn Ma.) stood up 
and followed him out of the room. 
     Later, Local 201 BA Ric Casilli said, “That is what this flawed 
negotiating process does. It takes legitimate major frictions on issues 
and escalates them to an even higher level. Everyone feels both sides 
have made their points repetitively for weeks, yet the Company says 
nothing different to the negotiators who repetitively have made almost 
every point they can make on all the issues. That is why Local 201 hates 
this outdated, unhealthy negotiating style. The differences are real and 
need to be addressed more openly, honestly and faster. It is not any 
surprise to Local 201 this occurred.”
           CONTRACT LANGUAGE SUB COMMITTEE
     The Contract Language Sub-Committee finished discussing all their 
proposals previously presented today. They reported that the Company 
presented some “really minor” positive changes and a couple of major 
negative ones
. One was taking away the double time payment from 
day shift employees
 reporting for call-in after midnight hours. That 
proposal met “stiff resistance from Union Negotiators.”
                                “SMALL TABLE”
     The “SMALL TABLE” Report from the top Union leaders to the 
Sub-Committees was short. They declared “Needless to say, the NEW 
HIRES COMPANY PROPOSAL (as expected) was delivered today, 
and it did not go well!!!!”
     Instructions and direction were given to both Sub-Committees for 
tomorrow’s sessions.  The leadership said they thought the Company 
was maybe misinterpreting “signals” from the shop floor and Locals, as 
to our members’ determination and passion on these issues of significant 
pension improvements, our retirees, new hires, SERO’s and SERO 
WINDOWS, etc., and on holding down medical costs.

Negotiations resume at 9AM Thursday morning.


 2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                     LOCAL 201 REPORT #12
                 TUESDAY, JUNE 12   9:00 PM 
                           
(posted 6/13 9:40 AM)

     
This was the first full day of meetings of the “Small Table” and the 2 
Sub-committees.
     In the Pension & Insurance sub-committee meetings, the Company 
asked many questions concerning different Union proposals. It seemed 
they were trying to find out which proposals are high-priority, and which 
ones are areas where members run into a lot of problems. The Company 
made it clear they intended to ask questions, listen, make some comments 
and then pass on our remarks to the “Small Table”.  Per usual, they 
presented no proposals here. 
                                             Pensions
     The Company did come very close to outright rejecting a union 
proposal for a flat rate, simplified pension plan not based on wages, but 
only service. The Union requested an answer as soon as possible on that 
point. Union negotiators stated the Pension Plan payouts are low to our 
members, compared to large high profit Companies and that we wanted 
significant increases. The current pension Plan was criticized for paying 
high management wage earners excessive Pensions, while our members 
come out on “the short end of the stick”.
     Union negotiators continued to press for good size pension 
increases for both current and future member retirees, with inflation 
protection clauses
. Union bargainers also raised, once again, that we 
were outright opposed to any proposals the Company might make that 
would increase union New Hires optional retirement age (with 
an unreduced pension),
 that would take away their Pension 
supplements, that would take away their rights to SERO Programs 
and would reduce the amount of their disability pension payments. 
(4 out of the 7 negative prongs)
                                 Medical & Insurance
     
Similarly (as the Company did with the Unions Pension proposals), 
the Company asked many clarification questions about the Union’s 
proposals on medical, disability, dental, and vision. The Union 
explained why our members needed improvements in many specific 
areas of all these plans. Union negotiators said that our proposals in 
the pre-65 and post-65 retirees’ insurance plans were very important, 
as retirees were already suffering enough with frozen pensions and their 
health care costs skyrocketing. Similarly, the Union said, to even 
consider taking away union New Hires post- 65 medical, make 
them pay 100% of the cost of pre- 65 medical, and lower their 
Life
 Insurance, is ridiculous. (the last 3 of the 7 negative prongs)
                        Contract Language- Job Security
     The Contact Language Committee spent all of the morning pressing 
for Article XXII changes to improve the JOB and INCOME Security 
provisions in areas like Plant Closings, outsourcing, farmout protection, 
IEA etc. There was “great participation” and the Company seemed to 
be listening and taking a lot of notes. In the afternoon, they spent time 
on Article V (Working Hours- Straight Time and OT), Article VIII 
(Service/Seniority issues), Health & Safety, Organizing and article XV 
(Arbitration).
                                      Small Table
     
Top National Union Negotiators from the “Small Table” reported 
that the Company made some of their first proposals in the Health Care 
and Pension areas. 
     In the area of Health Care, they said the proposals were extremely 
“regressive”, “even
 exceeding our expectations”!! They said the 
initial Company proposals called for outrageous members’ contribution 
increases in 2 rounds over a 4 year time period. They also proposed 
another round of co-pay increases
 involving certain “specialists”, 
drugs and in-hospital stays. They also proposed some “brand new 
co-pays”
 for certain types of procedures including certain types of  
"scans” and “imaging” ( Note: remember GE already makes profit 
by selling these type of machines).
 The Company proposals did not 
leave retirees alone either, with pre-65 retirees getting a major 
contribution hit
, and both current and future retirees getting hit 
with increased prescription co-pays
. Union negotiators reported 
that the Company proposal contained only some very minor improve-
ments in selected areas like mental health, lifetime max’s etc.
     In the Pension area, top negotiators reported that the Company’s 
initial proposal had some “reworking” of the Guaranteed Pension 
Tables, not much on the Pension supplements, had an “update 
formula”, and had some sort of breakpoint change (probably negative) 
as the only change in the regular career annuity formula. Negotiators 
reported that any improvements were not anywhere close to being 
enough.
     Tomorrow, the Company plans to give the “Small Table” a 
proposal on Union New Hires. What a surprise!!!!!  That proposal 
IS SURE TO BE WELL RECEIVED!!!
 Almost as much as their 
Medical cost shifting proposal
 was today.
     Negotiations resume tomorrow morning at 9:00AM.
                  IUE-CWA LOCAL 201 TAKES ACTION
     
Tuesday was a day of contract related actions by members of 
Local 201.  Over 900 sign wielding members stood out on Western Ave. 
and the Lynnway, during morning and afternoon rush hours, waving and 
shouting out to the passing traffic, letting the community know it’s 
contract time at GE, and letting the Company know we’re looking for 
improvements, not give-backs!  The signs proclaimed: "Health Care for 
all, not cuts for GE Workers" and "No cuts in benefits for GE Workers!"  
     The Local also participated in a Workers Rights Board Hearing that 
examined the state of health care for GE workers.  Organized with the 
help of Jobs with Justice, a panel of community and health care activists 
took powerful testimony from both current and retired GE employees, 
including the members of two 3-generation GE families, the Wallaces 
and Wheatons.  The hardships described made a clear case for 
improving benefits.  The Hearing was video taped for future use.
     Thanks to all our members who built for and participated in 
these actions.  


  2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                 LOCAL 201 REPORT # 11
                FRIDAY, JUNE 8    11:00 PM

     Negotiations recessed Thursday afternoon June 7, until next Monday at 
1:00PM.  Thursday, June 7th, was the conclusion of the first 3 weeks of 
what is called the “Big Tables”.
         GE’S CLOSING REMARKS AT THE “BIG TABLE”
     GE made some closing statements on the importance of being globally 
competitive and a number of statements referencing how good and 
competitive their wages, pension plan, medical plans and Job Security 
“safety net” programs were. They said health care costs are going up 2 to 
3 times the rate of inflation and “we all are going to have to pay more” 
with some comment about union members having fixed contribution rates 
currently. GE defended their plans for new hires, stating that their plan for 
them was “responsible, sane and a measured response” and stating we are 
not talking about taking away their defined Pension benefit plans as some 
Companies have done. 
                      UNION CHAIRMAN RESPONDS
     IUE-CWA Chairman Bob Santamoor then read out a “big table” 
closing statement re-emphasizing the crucial nature of our issues on Job 
Security, Pensions, Neutrality in Organizing, Health Care cost shifting, 
Paid Time off, Retirees and New Hires. Some notable quotes from the 
speech:
     “Retirees must receive a substantial increase in their Pension 
along with a COLA
…it’s time, it’s time, it’s time.”
“Make no mistake about the importance of the issues surrounding 
New Hires
. Do not let the voices you heard go unheeded. It would be 
a major mistake to do so. I believe a mistake could bring you on a 
journey no one wishes to take”.

     “We expect substantial increases in pensions with a replace-
ment income that assumes
 inflation adjustments”.
     “Your own figures tell us that health care costs in the last contract 
did not come close to your projected increases. We will not be fooled 
this time with inflated figures
 or the argument increases are needed.”
     “We must protect these workers from work transfers and plant 
closings
…….from the scandal of farm-out and subcontracting”.
     “There are areas I have not specifically stated that need improvements. 
They are not to be taken lightly. Areas such as improved dental and vision 
care coverage (Note: Retirees have none)...a true wage adjustment for 
skilled trades.”
     “In closing, I must say that I am less optimistic of being able to bake 
the cake this time than any other contract negotiations that I have been 
involved with. If an agreement is to be reached it must meet our needs 
and not just GE’s. It has to be a good contract, not an inferior one and 
one with no give backs. Give backs will unite this table like you 
have
 never seen before. Believe me when I say that, do not make 
the mistake of just listening. Make sure you hear us.”
          UNION NEGOTIATORS BACK UP CHAIRMAN
     Following Santamoor’s detailed closing statement, all Union nego-
tiators reinforced all of the Chairman’s points. Each negotiator made 
short closing remarks
 hitting some of the issues. Almost all negotia-
tors mentioned their hatred of the GE’s presentation on New
 
Hires and the 2005 plan forced upon their salaried workforce.

     Local 201 (Lynn) BA Casilli said that the Unions want higher levels 
of “replacement income” in the Pension Plan for
 current members 
and a significant increase for Retirees is critical.
 He also challenged 
a GE negotiator’s previous remark, about union members supposedly 
having “fixed” Health care contribution costs, by stating “that is totally 
incorrect,” and read off contract health care contribution charts 
showing that our members rates went up
 significantly in 2004 
and again in 2006
, while many members jumped additional levels by 
going into a higher wage bracket, or by adding spouse or dependent 
coverage. Many members’ rates almost doubled during the last contract 
and some members got hit much worse. The BA stated our Retirees 
already are paying too much and they do not have
 dental, vision, 
or hearing aid coverage and they need these
. He also said “your 
New Hire 7 prong attack is very worrisome
…this is an attack on 
the Union as an institution...you go after our fathers who came 
before us (the retirees) and now are going after our children 
coming after us”.
  The IUE-CWA Local 1004 (Stothers) union rep. 
echoed similar sentiments- saying “you seem to go after everyone who 
is not present at this table!”
     On Monday, June 11 @ 1:00 PM, the “Small Table” Negotiations 
open with the Company. This involves the top national Union officials 
and top GE officials
. This “table” meets all week and through the 
coming weekend to try to hammer out a Contract.
     Beginning Tues. June 12 @ 9AM, two Sub-Committees will also 
be bargaining in separate rooms with GE: (1) Pension & Insurance, 
(2) Contract Language
. Local 201 BA Casilli is a member of the 
Pension& Insurance sub-committee. The union Sub-Committee members 
usually caucus with the top union officials from the “Small Table” each night.
     Local 201 is planning a major “visibility protest” on Western Ave. 
and the Lynnway at 3 different times on Tues., June 12, and wants 
members to participate.
 Flyers with details have been distributed in 
the shops.
  Also, Local 201, MassCARE, and Jobs with Justice are 
sponsoring a Massachusetts Workers Rights Board Hearing on the same 
day @ 9-11AM at North Shore Community College, in Room T102, 
examining the question “Is there a future for health care at GE?”



2007 IUE-CWA /GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                  LOCAL 201 REPORT # 10
              WEDNEDAY, JUNE 6     8:00PM

      In the AM session, the Company put on presentations on the 
Savings & Security Program
 and on Job and Income Security.
     On the S&S Program, they reported the utilization of the S&S 
Program by union members was growing, that 85% of members 
were now participating in it, and that 70% were saving at the Company 
50% match cap level of 7% or more. GE went over the features of this 
Defined Contribution Plan
, as differentiated from our Pension Plan, 
which is a Defined Benefit Plan. 
     The Company then made a presentation on Job and Income security 
discussing the Plant Closing Pension Option (PCPO), Special Early 
Retirement Option (SERO), SERO 30, the Special Supplement Benefit 
Option (SSBO), Preferential Placement, IDP, and Job Preservation 
Committees.
     The Company stated the cost of one SERO was $280,000, and 
SERO 30 was $385,000, and that pension improvements and rising 
health care costs “make SERO and SERO 30 increasingly 
expensive to provide.
 They said 2,609 hourly, 423 non-exempts, 
and 669 exempts took SERO’s during the recent contract. They 
reported that 203 hourly and 31 non-exempt’s took SERO 30 during 
the same period. Union negotiators remained silent.
     GE then explained the SERO “WINDOW” program in the current 
Contract. They reported 600 union and 250 non-union went out in the 
first 2003 “window” on retirement; and 420 union and 180 non-union 
went out during the second window in 2005. They complained that, 
out of the total of 1450 window retirements, 515 were SERO 30 
window retirements and that the total cost was $307 million. They 
said the administration of the
 window feature was difficult and 
that “they are extremely costly and not responsive to current 
business conditions”. Union negotiators remained silent again 
and said “see you this afternoon”.
                           Neutrality in Organizing
     
In the afternoon session, union negotiators asked the Company 
why they oppose Union drives, despite the fact that in general there 
is cooperation in most IUE-CWA GE plants on things like VPP, 
Job Preservation, productivity, lean, etc.  The Chief Spokesman 
responded, “Because generally there are less encumbrances, more 
flexibility and productivity in non-union shops.”  He restated GE’s 
historic position of working with Unions where they exist but 
maintaining a position that they do not want or need them in shops 
where they don’t exist. He restated GE’s opposition to the 
“Employee Free Choice” bill, but admitted that that could become 
law if a Democratic President comes in office next election. 
Negotiator after negotiator told stories of the benefits that GE gets 
from having unions – structure, some agreed upon rules, help in 
securing work through politicians, help with customer’s cooperation 
in securing work, and partnering for the good of the business. 
Negotiators said “times have changed” and it is time GE revisits 
their old outdated historical position of fighting union drives in their 
plants and the hope is someone inside the Corporation would 
spearhead this review.
                 Negotiations Resume Tomorrow
     Negotiations resume tomorrow with the Union doing a “Wrap up” 
of many of the key proposals given the Company over these first 3 
weeks of Negotiations. The “Big Tables” (IUE-CWA/GE and 
UE/GE) officially will end after tomorrow morning. The “Small 
Table”,
 with top National leaders from the major CBC unions and 
top GE Negotiators, shall convene on Monday June 11 at 1PM for 
the last week of Negotiations.
     All other CBC Union Negotiators from the Locals and Conference 
Board Staffs will be meeting with company negotiators in 2 Sub-Com-
mittee rooms. One is Pension & Insurance, the other is Contract 
Language
. The Sub-Committees shall convene on Tuesday morning 
June 12. Local 201 Business Agent Ric Casilli is on the Pension 
& Insurance Sub-committee. Usually, at then end of each day, the two 
union Sub-Committees caucus with top union leaders from the “Small 
Table” for a briefing.


2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                  LOCAL 201 REPORT # 9
             TUESDAY, JUNE 5     11:00 PM
-
                       NATIONAL CBC Rally
     
Negotiations continued today, following a long weekend recess that 
featured a major national CBC rally in Erie, Pa.  An estimated 2500 GE 
workers participated in the rally sending a clear message to GE on the 
major issues concerning members. Those issues are clear: improving 
significantly
 pensions for current members & retirees, improving 
the 60 cent 2 tier NSB, renewing and improving the SERO and 
SERO “window’, holding down medical cost shifting, and protecting 
new hires from a now known 7 prong attack (keeps growing the 
more we know) on their retirement options and benefits.  Other 
areas are also important but these are the major conflict areas.
     
UE Local 506 in Erie hosted the Saturday rally, which drew representa-
tives from Locals all across the country from the various CBC unions. 
IUE-CWA was represented well at the Rally, led by a huge contingent 
from Louisville Kentucky. IUE-CWA Conference Board Chairmen 
Bob Santamoor 
was a featured speaker along with top UE National 
representatives. Local 201 (Lynn) sent a delegation of 22 people, including 
most Board members and Officers.  Many other IUE-CWA Locals sent 
good sized contingents. Many new hires participated in the spirited event.

     IUE-CWA Local 1004 (Arkansas City, Kansas - Strothers) put out 
a new button today that all Negotiators wore at the negotiating table
It depicts a baby in diapers getting a GE machine screw though the heart 
and says “Don’t Screw the New Guy”.

                               GE WAGE PRESENTATION
     
In the morning session today, GE made a presentation on their current 
wage package and how the general wage increases, the COLA formula, 
and various skilled trades adjustments are designed to “attract and retain 
the best and the brightest”
 employees.
     They said that data shows that the wage package is very competitive 
and has provided a 4.8% increase over inflation rates during the last 4 years. 
They then showed data that purported to demonstrate that wage related 
premiums (OT, NSB payments etc), wage related benefits (holidays, 
vacations, S&S, etc) and non-wage related benefits costs (health care, etc.) 
roll up the “average” GE wage of $25.43 an hour to a $52.00 an hour cost. 
GE presented charts showing they paid better wages then those in the 
“total manufacturing
 industries” in the US, better then those in “durable 
goods manufacturing”,
 and better then those in the “electrical equipment 
& appliance”
 industries. This comparison they call "benchmarking".
     Union negotiators began questioning their analysis and what it left out and 
why it leads one to the wrong conclusions. One significant omission was it 
never compared the profit amounts of any other company with GE’s 
annual profit of $65,000
 per employee. It is understandable why they 
would not want to "benchmark" those figures
     Negotiators also pointed out that GE was using unfair comparisons to 
“companies” which included small businesses, non-union companies, low 
profit marginal industries, and less skilled industries. If GE was compared 
to the government NAICS indexes for aircraft engines, aerospace, power 
generation, or locomotive manufacturing (where GE has many employees 
in each sector), the wage differences would be negligible!!!  The Company 
admitted that it clearly would be much closer in a wage comparison.
     It also should be noted that many GE lighting, appliance, and motor 
locals have taken wage freezes over the years and now have 2 tier lower 
wage rate systems. Those wages should have been carved out of the GE 
presentation today and compared to the” low wage" industries GE did use 
in their data. If so, the differences would be negligible again! In addition, the 
“$52 an hour roll up costs” GE was presenting us are drastically lower 
at most of GE’s lighting, motor and appliance plants, where MAJOR wage 
and 2-tier concessions have been given (between Contracts) to satisfy GE 
complaints about competitiveness and the Union’s wanting to keep jobs 
here under Article XXII  Job Preservation language.
     Other negotiators questioned whether the increased 2003-2007 
employee medical contribution and LTDI increases were subtracted from 
what amounts to just a 1.2% annual wage gain vs. inflation (even by GE 
figures). GE responded that the medical employee contribution increases 
were subtracted
 and they would check on whether the major LTDI 
employee increases were taken into account. LTDI increases were major!
     GE referenced the fact the COLA clause has been improved a number 
of times over the years. However, it is still a fact it only covers about 40% 
of the rise in inflation
 and the general wage increases and skilled trades 
adders have been needed just to keep members’ heads above water. Some 
union negotiators also pointed out that the downsizing and outsourcing of 
jobs to foreign countries has significantly lowered GE’s wage and roll up 
costs over the years.
     The Union made it clear was expecting substantial general wage increases, 
an improved COLA and improved skilled trades adder to make sure our 
members “keep their heads above water.”

      GE LIFE INSURANCE and DISABILITY PRESENTATION
     In the afternoon session, GE put on a presentation on their Life Insurance 
offerings, Short Term (STDI) & Long Term Disability Plans (LTDI), and on 
Disability Pensions. 
     The presentation was informative and the GE presenter believed there 
were “opportunities to purchase higher amounts of coverage, in many 
instances at lower costs
”…specifically referring to the “Dependent Life 
Flexible Choice” Insurance Plan.
 GE said the “flexible plan” was being 
under utilized compared to the traditional dependent life plan, to the 
detriment of many union members. GE also said some simplification of 
current programs may also make sense. The presenter was informative, 
clear, interesting and answered all questions.

Note: Not disputing these  above points, the Union notes that we had 
previously presented demands calling for hard monetary improvements 
in all these Plans the Company was talking about today. But per usual, 
this so called “negotiating process”, means GE will respond later 
(maybe)
 to Union demands in this area.  This negotiation “process” 
is outdated, unique, condescending, bizarre, and embarrassing. It is 
absolutely not in synch with labor relations existing at most of our GE 
plants, or conducive to anyone being happy with any agreement that 
comes down at the end…..but alas it continues.  Local 201 does NOT 
DO CONTRACT OR LOCAL NEGOTIATING
 ANYTHING LIKE THIS 
at GE or our other REPRESENTED Companies and it works 100% 
better!( See Contract Report # 1 for background on this subject.)

     On the LTDI Plan, IUE-CWA Local 201 said at the table “the Plan 
changes made 2 years ago were terrible and many members (who all pay 
100% of the Plan costs) cannot afford to be in this Plan any longer.”  GE 
pointed out that the Plan changes were negotiated nationally at “a small table 
with the Unions” and that GE had given the unions 3 choices on changes to 
keep the Plan afloat and the Union chose the one in place. However, GE 
admitted upon questioning that they offered no plan where GE would 
actually subsidize part of it
!! Instead, employees got hit with higher 
contribution costs and a cutback on the amount and length (in some cases) 
of the benefits that they pay for! (Such a great deal?)
     Also, it became clear at the Company Presentation that the disability 
pension plan
 for exempt salaried new hires (and some non-exempt) had 
negative changes made to it, making it the now the 7th area of negative 
retirement and benefit changes to new hires!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 6th- GE Presentations on Contract 
Language, S&SP, and Job Security…. Starts @ 8:30 AM


2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS 
                  LOCAL 201 REPORT # 8
                FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 11:00AM

     Yesterday, IUE-CWA Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor 
opened up negotiations saying recent Company behavior in Florida was 
really “distasteful”. The IUE-CWA National Director of Organizing was 
brought to Negotiations to testify concerning events that occurred in the 
recent IUE-CWA organizing win of a GE Service Shop in Daytona, 
Florida
. The Director said that GE management carried on a campaign 
of fear, intimidation and harassment on the 12 person workforce to scare 
them out of voting to go
 union. The Director said GE management 
behavior was deplorable and not in the spirit of the 2003 Contract 
sidebar letter committing that such behavior would not occur. He testified 
that GE turned on sprinklers on the workers when they “hand billed” the 
plant on more then one occasion. Workers were subject to threats of the 
shop closing, layoffs, loss of benefits, etc and were taken into “one on one” 
meetings, among other things. The Director made the point that it is just 
this type of behavior that is generating so much support for the Employee 
Free Choice Act.
     One of the courageous workers, now a union brother, came up from 
Daytona and corroborated the Organizing Director’s testimony. The 
Service Center technician said due to the reprisal threats made, they 
are waiting for “the other shoe to drop” now that they voted the Union 
in overwhelmingly. The Company Chief Spokesman stated “There 
will
 be no reprisals”. He did reference a recent “distasteful cartoon”, 
concerning companies opposing the Employee Free Choice Act, he 
saw in an unnamed CBC union newspaper.
     A more complete meeting with the Company is going to be scheduled 
soon on what happened in Daytona. In any event, the workers are  
under the National Contract
 now. We welcome our new 
brothers!!!!!!!
                  APPARATUS SERVICE CENTERS
     There are over two dozen GE apparatus service centers under the 
IUE-CWA National agreement. Conference Board Secretary-Treasurer 
Vinny Vines and negotiator Mike Cerrone (Philadelphia, Pa. Service 
Center) led the presentation of the Service Center union proposals to 
the Company. Witnesses from other Service Centers, like Pittsburgh, 
added comments explaining the 15 proposals. Some of the key 
proposals were increasing premiums for different types of work and 
different locations, both inside and outside the United States. Proposals 
were also made concerning schooling, safety, tool allowances, time off 
after lengthy stays on the road, “layover” pay on outside jobs, and 
restrictions on retirees and others from doing bargaining unit work. 
The Company asked clarification questions on the proposals and said 
they would review them.
                               SKILLED TRADES  
     Conference Board Staff member Jim Ledford then had some of the 
negotiators and skilled trades witnesses from the locals talk about the 
need for a skilled trades adjustment. A skilled trades member from 
Louisville said they have a hard time hiring skilled electricians off the 
street because of the competition with companies paying more. 
Negotiator Ric Casilli from Lynn read a letter from Local 201’s Skilled 
Trades Chairman Jerry Govewho could not be present due to vacation 
plans. The letter stated that many members were leaving skilled jobs, 
like Tool & Die Maker jobs, and going down to less skilled jobs due 
to more overtime or to get a better upgrade path to jobs with more 
overtime. To restrict this trend, he suggested improving the 2003 
skilled trade’s adjustment formula 
so it provides a bigger 
adjustment for the Rates 18 and above. Casilli added that Lynn has the 
same hiring problems as Louisville with some of the Skilled Craft 
classifications and Nurse Classification.
 The Union had previously, 
on May 24, presented a demand for a Skilled Trades improvement 
(above the last one) as part of their Wage proposals.
                        NEGOTIATIONS RECESS
                  NATIONAL UNION CBC RALLY
     
Negotiations are on recess to next Tuesday morning, June 5. The 
June 5- 7 period will be the last week of what is known as the “Big 
Table”
 which then, on the week of June 11, breaks into the “Small 
table”
 and two Sub-Committees (Pension/ Insurance and 
Contract Language).
     The one National CBC Rally is occurring this Sat. June 2nd 
in Erie, Pa.,
 hosted by UE Local 506, which represents production 
workers at the GE Erie plant. Many locals within driving distances have 
hired buses. IUE-CWA Local 201 is sending a delegation of between 
22 and 25 people, including most Local 201 Officers and Board 
Members. BA Casilli will be returning from NYC for the important 
Local 201 Stewards/Contract activists
 meeting at the Union Hall 
today, Friday June 1st, and then join the delegation going to Erie 
over the weekend, before returning to NYC Monday.
     One other note, UE Local 506 (about 4000 members) apparently 
took a limited Strike action yesterday (Wed, May 30), with all shifts 
walking out on Strike for 4 hours over some unresolved grievances 
on farm out.


         2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                              LOCAL 201 REPORT # 7
                        WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 6:00PM


     GE made 2 presentations in the morning. The first was by Richard 
Sorian, VP of Public Policy of NCQA (National Committee of Quality 
Assurance). He gave an overview of health care quality problems, 
rising costs of “low-quality” care in the United States, and summarized 
some of the initiatives to correct a broken system. These included labor/
employer committees, state, and federal legislation. 
     Despite it being an interesting “neutral” overview of the “trends” in 
Health Care, it was the opinion of Local 201 BA Ric Casilli that the 
lengthy presentation was mainly a thinly disguised attempt by GE to 
“soften up” negotiators
 to be prepared to accept a lot more health 
care cost shifting.
     Data was shown that showed the “average” American, with employer 
sponsored coverage, was now paying 27% of the medical insurance 
premium with the employer paying 73%.  Data GE presented May 23 
showed that it is estimated that the average GE worker in 2007 is paying 
“only” about 14% of the premium. The conclusion GE wants the union to 
draw is that GE workers are “lucky” to be only averaging 14% compared 
to paying 27% of the total premium and thus should not mind getting big 
premium hikes this Contract.
     201 BA Casilli replied that “You derived the average for Americans 
paying 27% by including small businesses, non-union companies and the 
Wal-Marts of the world,” where employees are forced to pay 50% to 
100% of the premium. Big unionized Companies like GE, Lockheed, and 
GM, etc. pay lower percentage amounts due to collective bargaining by 
the unions, bringing the total “average” down to the 27 %. Casilli added 
(paraphrased) “You also have got to look at this in a historical perspective. 
In the 1970’s, unionized workers paid 0%, while small businesses and 
non-union employees were paying 20% to 30%. Yes, we are going to 
always pay way less than the national average. That is why we are here. 
We are the only obstacle to driving down the standard of living and 
blocking the cost shifting by employers on to employees every-
where
which is the real trend going on in health care!”
     A second presentation was given by Shane Fitzsimons, a GE VP of 
Financial Planning and Analysis. It was a business overview that looked 
at growth, risks, investments, profits, revenues and realignments of GE’s 
portfolio structure.
                     GE PENSION PRESENTATION 
     In the afternoon, GE’s Mike Gorman put on an informative presenta-
tion of the design and structure of our current Pension Plan. He 
explained how it is GE’s view that it is designed to achieve 70% to 80% 
of “replacement income” (of what you were making before retiring), 
when combined with Personal Savings and Social Security. He then 
went into a number of different complicated elements that fit into that 
design such as the guaranteed tables, regular pension, pension update, 
supplements, PPA, VPA, etc. He said the plan is designed to provide a 
“competitive level of benefits,” along with a matching 401K Plan and 
Social Security, and he benchmarked it against some other 
Corporation’s retirement plans.
     Union negotiators made a number of comments to the effect that we 
are not wedded to the principle of the Pension Plan paying out benefits 
on “a percentage of replacement income,” as we have already proposed 
a non wage based flat pension plan. Also, it was pointed out that the 
Unions never have accepted the so called “3 legged stool” concept when 
negotiating a Pension Plan, i.e. personal savings and social Security 
should not be factors in negotiating Pension Plan Benefits!  In addition, 
the 1997 Pension “adder” was attacked relative to the better 2000 
Pension Update. There also were comments and questions regarding 
the accuracy of GE’s replacement figures for some categories of 
individuals, and the disastrous effect of inflation, over time, on such 
figures having any real meaning when a Pension Plan has no automatic 
cost-of living adjustment. 
     The Union has previously presented their Pension demands. 
With $54.8 Billion in the Pension Trust Fund, and $15 Billion 
surplus, there is no reason GE should not be able to significantly 
increase the future pensions of those still working, give a big 
increase to current retirees, scaled to those that need it most, 
and put inflation protection for all into the plan! 

     The Company has not made any Pension Proposals to this 
point, or proposals in any other area for that matter. The morning 
presentations, particularly, were part of the “drawn out, wear 
them down, soften them up” style of bargaining (unique to nego-
tiations with GE) and not “healthy” as a collective bargaining 
process (See Local 201 Contract Report #1 for more on 
this subject).

     Negotiations resume tomorrow with the Union presenting its 
skilled trades/service shop proposals.


       2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS 
                 LOCAL 201 CONTRACT REPORT # 6
                        TUESDAY, MAY 29, 8:00PM
     
Tony Daley, from the CWA Research Dept., today presented a union 
outline and perspective on the health care crisis in the United States.  He 
said CWA was for the principles of universal coverage, comprehensive 
benefits, affordability, fair financing and quality care. He pointed out that 
data should only be used from 2003 forward because the Unions and 
Company previously bargained adjustments in cost sharing in the 2003 
Contract.
     
He showed data that illustrated GE’s health costs increasing 8.4% 
from 2003 through 2006, while the National average for that period was 
12.2%. Meanwhile, during the same period, GE employee contributions 
rose 18.2% and GE profits per employee rose 11.2%.
     
He said this illustrated that GE should not be talking about “competi-
tive levels of cost sharing or benchmarking” in comparison to what other 
companies do. He stressed GE needed to use “imagination” and be a 
leading player to work with the Unions to find solutions to the national 
Health Care problem rather then just asking for more cost sharing all the 
time. 
     Health cost containment cannot be solved at the bargaining table and 
GE needs to change their approach if they want to solve their “competitive-
ness" complaints, said Union researcher Daley. A major point, he was 
attempting to get the Company to see, was that the hard data on health 
care cost increases could probably be mutually agreed to, but how the 
Union and Company interpret that data to come up with solutions is where 
there is a disconnect in approach.
     
The Union then presented demands on Medical, Vision, Dental, Disabil-
ity, Life Insurance, and Retiree Benefits, calling for improvements in each 
area, with no or little cost shifting on to members. The list of demands was 
extensive, reflecting members’ problems in many areas. Some of these 
included more coverage and higher coverage levels in the medical, vision, 
and dental plans. Improvements in STD and LTDI were included. For 
retirees, the Union put forward some current medical “cost relief” demands, 
called for improvements in the four post-65 supplement plans, while also 
asking for Dental and Vision plans.
     
In the afternoon session, the Unions put on a powerful presentation on 
behalf of retirees. Union negotiators, one by one, read out approximately 
two dozen letters from GE retirees addressed to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt 
asking him for pension increases, no increase in health care costs, and 
describing in detail their daily and personal situations in struggling just to 
survive. 
     
Retiree guest speakers from Louisville, Schenectady, and Lynn made 
excellent presentations on the plight of GE retirees. Randy Peyton from 
Louisville said it really hurts him and makes him feel sad when he sees 
retirees having to make the choice between buying medication or food. 
“It’s high time we fix this situation” he retorted.
     “
I always thought GE was about progress. Well, progress would be 
updating their pensions,” said Peyton. 
     
Helen Quirini, a long time retiree from Schenectady, went through the 
history of retiree’s problems and asked GE “to put people first” and have 
some compassion for those older retirees living below the current minimum 
pension of $33 per month per year of service.
     
She said “I retired when the minimum was $18 and thus only get a 
pension of $734 monthly. This is a trust fund for us and it is shameful,” 
she said. GE Spokesperson Bill Casey referred to Quirini’s presentation 
as “thoughtful, historical and forceful” but took issue with her calling the 
GE Pension plan “discriminatory”.
     
Kevin Mahar, from Lynn, handed out the “Hall of Shame” leaflet to 
all GE and Union negotiators which showed former CEO GE Jack 
Welch’s pension at $800,000 a month, as compared to the $734 for 
Quirini.  Mahar talked about having no eyeglass, dental or hearing aid 
coverage “at a time in your life when you need it most.”  He spoke of 
having to fight to get hospital benefits for people being denied, and about 
a retiree that has to use more then 6 of his pension checks just to pay his 
annual taxes of $3,600 on his house!!!
     Mahar concluded: “It is out of balance, it is crying out for a fix, and it 
is fixable in a systematic way that both automatically adjusts pensions 
while safeguarding the Pension fund.”
     
Many negotiators backed up the three retirees’ presentations and the 
dozens of letters read, telling the Company this is a “hot button” issue this 
year and something must be done. 
     
The GE chief spokesperson said “we listened, and will pass on your 
comments, and hopefully capture your conviction and passion”.
     
IUE-CWA Chairman Bob Santamoor concluded with the remark 
“You may be listening but I’m not sure you are hearing.”
     
Union Negotiators summarized informally, after the day’s session, that 
this may have been the best presentation on retirees issues done at the 
table, particularly by the three retirees, who kept their remarks sharp, 
forceful and to the point.
     
Negotiations resume tomorrow Wednesday, at 9 AM, with the 
Company scheduled to make presentations on the State of the Business, 
Health Care, and Pensions.


           2007 IUE-CWA GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                             LOCAL 201 REPORT #5
                          FRIDAY, MAY 25, 11:00AM.

     On Thursday, May 24, the Union presented the Company Wage and 
Contract Language proposals.
     The Union demanded “substantial percentage wage increases”, an 
improved COLA formula, a skilled trade’s adjustment and a premium 
for hazardous job duties.  Some of the Contract Language union 
demands presented were restoring the 10% Night Shift Bonus for 
everyone, making seniority the “controlling” factor in upgrading ( if 
minimally qualified), equalization of overtime across shifts, and 
additional paid time off with more vacation days, holidays and 
sick & personal days.
     The Union also asked the Company to recognize the principles of 
“card  check” and “neutrality” in union organizing drives, especially in 
light of recent Company interference in a successful union drive by GE 
workers in a Florida Service Shop. The Company responded that they 
play “by the rules” and follow “NLRB law” and inquired whether the 
2003 “Sidebar” letter on the Dispute Resolution procedure was not 
working satisfactorily. The Union’s Conference Board Chairman replied 
“No it isn’t and your behavior in Florida was disgusting!” Both sides 
agreed this would be discussed more.
     The Company announced that they would be coming out  with a 
Statement on International Employee Rights in the near future,. The Union 
then requested that GE take a Union CBC (Coordinated Bargaining 
Committee) group on a tour to China to review employee rights in GE 
factories. The Company replied “We will review that request”.
     Led by the IUE-CWA Local 301 rep (Schenectady, NY), numerous 
union representatives hammered the Company about not providing 
Veterans Day as a listed paid holiday (Note; Local 201 does have it as 
a paid holiday as it was locally selected to be the “additional” holiday). 
Union reps stated angrily that not having Veterans Day as a paid listed 
holiday is an insult to all the men and women who serve this country, 
including our veterans in the shop. Other negotiators also testified to the 
need for more Sick & Personal days and for strengthening seniority in 
upgrading.
     Led by the IUE-CWA Local 201 rep (Lynn, MA.), negotiators spoke 
on the need to restore the 10% Night Shift Bonus for everyone. The Local 
201 rep. read from a March 26, 2006 shop floor petition, initiated by new 
hires, calling for changes in the $.60 NSB.  The Local 201 rep. pointed 
out that the $.60, set back in 1988, has lost more than half its value by 
2007, and said that this whole disparate situation needs rectification! The 
Local 701 rep. (Madisonville, KY) quickly added supporting remarks on 
fixing this situation for recent and future new hires.
     No negotiations are scheduled for today, Friday May 25. Negotiations 
will resume on Tuesday, May 29 with the Union scheduled to present its 
demands in Medical and Benefit areas for both current members and 
retirees. In the afternoon, the Union is bringing in some Retiree Council 
leaders to make a presentation concerning the plight of GE retirees.


           2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                              LOCAL 201 REPORT # 4
                               WED. MAY 23, 7:00 PM
     
GE put on a Health Care presentation today, which purported to show 
that GE Health Care Costs were rising extremely fast, that GE workers’ 
levels of cost sharing were too low, and that the GE Medical Plans were 
better then average when compared against  plans of other unionized 
companies. In the presentation, they focused on the amount an employee 
contributes
co-pays (drugs, specialists, outpatient, imaging charges), cost 
of retiree health care
 and continued to reference the number of “New 
Hire” provisions
 other Companies had put in place.
     Union negotiators questioned a number of points regarding the extensive 
data GE was presenting. When comparing co-pays of different employers, 
GE figures were low on our members’ medical contributions because they 
did not add in what the GE worker pays as a result of the deferred COLA 
in the 1990’s in order to keep medical contributions down. GE also did not 
compare themselves to any Companies that had anywhere near the number 
of employees in the GE plans.  In addition, union negotiators pointed out 
that we are not responsible for the cost associated with extending medical 
coverage to non-union salaried or non- union plants in general, as we do 
not negotiate for them.
     In the afternoon session, GE put on their presentation explaining their 
New Hire Benefit Program which went into effect on Jan 1, 2005 for most 
non-union salaried employees. 
The Company explained what they do 
get and what they do not as compared to current employees.  It was not 
received well. Union negotiators reacted strongly against this type 
of program being dumped on union new hires! More negotiators 
spoke on this subject then any subject in the previous day and a half 
of Negotiations. 
Opposition ranged from logical, institutional, and 
practical reasons for the Company to drop this subject from further 
discussions to outright anger that the Company would even suggest doing 
this. Forceful speech after speech was given opposing any proposals 
the Company may make on union New Hires that would do to them 
what GE did to their non-union salaried employees (raises their 
unreduced pension retirement age from 60 to 62 or 65, eliminates 
their pension supplements, provides either no pre-65 retiree health 
care or paying 100% of the costs, eliminates their post-65 retiree 
medical, lowers their retiree life insurance, and makes them 
ineligible for programs like SERO).
 Top IUE-CWA spokesmen asked 
the Company to remove this item from the table due to the “irritation” effect 
it was having on union negotiators and its potential “deal breaking” nature. 
The Company said “you are digging in a bit early” and we have not even 
given you a proposal on this subject yet. The Company stated that they felt 
their ideas were a “measured response” to changing factors like longer life 
expectancies, changes in Social Security ages etc. Chairman Bob 
Santamoor replied “It is an insulting response”. On this note, bargaining 
concluded for the day.
     Negotiations resume on Thursday at 9:00AM with the Union scheduled 
to make their Wage and Contract Language proposals.


2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                         LOCAL 201 REPORT # 3
                       TUESDAY MAY 22, 5:30PM

     Negotiations opened this morning, with a moment of silence for the family of 
IUE-CWA Local 201 (Lynn, Ma.) member Peter Allouise, as the press is 
reporting that in “an apparent murder/suicide” he took the lives of himself, wife 
and 26 year old son.  Prayers go out for them, and friends and relatives of the 
Allouise family.
     On another somber note, the entire IUE-CWA Negotiating Committee 
continued to wear pins commemorating the tragic death of Michelle Rodgers 
on the picket line four years ago during the nationwide Health Care Strike.
     In the AM session, the Union presented its list of Article XXII Job and 
Income Security
 demands. Some of the key demands presented were no 
plant closing
 for the life of the agreement, a prohibition on sub-contracting 
and outsourcing
, increase in IEA and other layoff benefits, improved 
bonuses
, and making Article XXII violations arbitral.
     Discussion ensued, with Union Negotiators pointing out that the key is 
saving jobs
 and NOT just improving the benefits after the jobs are lost. The 
closings of the Jonesboro Ark., Tells City Ind., Murfreesboro Tenn., and 
Atlanta plants were highlighted. The Union noted that the 1997 Job 
Preservation Committee Language was not working effectively in most cases 
and that there was not enough accountability being forced on local manage-
ment to make them work. 
     The GE spokesperson praised the efforts of union leaders, in a number of 
locations, for their perseverance in making the committees work despite not 
always being popular or successful.
     Union leaders said GE has to take a stronger role in making them work 
and rewarding locations with more work, new products and investment, and 
stop sending stuff to China. Union Conference Board leaders said “it is time 
to think out of the box” and stop tying “saving jobs” to wage and benefit 
concessions, a pattern in the lighting and appliance industries. It was pointed 
out, that even in the “healthier” GE industries with no layoffs; attrition was 
eroding away job security and farm-out was still an issue.
     In the afternoon session, the Union presented its Pension Demands
Some of the key demands presented were for a significant increase in 
pensions
 and restructuring it to a simple flat (non-wage based) pension plan, 
a pension increase for retirees, pension inflation protection for current 
members and retirees, renewed and improved SERO and SERO 30 
job/income security Programs, and an enhanced SERO WINDOW early 
retirement program.
     Discussion ensued, with the Union raising the approximate $55 billion in 
the pension fund and again raising that it is about $15 billion over funded.
     The Company, again, showed little desire to want to convert to a non-wage 
based Pension Plan. They cited the major reason being that such a plan does 
not take into account the central principle of the plan which is to give 
individuals a certain percentage of replacement income from what they were 
making as an active employee. Despite that objection, union negotiators 
argued that the plan was too complicated, extremely unfair to low wage 
earners, pushed people to working too hard in their later years and did not 
provide a high enough level of replacement income for anyone.
     With little progress on changing the “structure” of the Pension Plan being 
made, 
negotiators “laid into” the Company again about how disgraceful their 
treatment of retiree’s pensions was. “We have retirees living in houses with 
dirt floors!” said one negotiator.
     The Chairman of the Conference Board said, despite GE’s pre- negotiations 
remarks, “We also intend to keep and improve the SERO and SERO 
WINDOW programs. Union negotiators added that “we also are not interested 
either in increasing new hires normal 60 year old Retirement age, taking their 
pension supplements away, making them pay 100% for pre-65 retirement health 
care, or eliminating their post- 65 health care.
     The Company responded that they understood the Union’s positions on 
these matters but would withhold further comment until “tomorrow” when GE is 
scheduled to make their Health Care and New Hire Benefits Presentations. 
These presentations are not likely going to “over joy” union negotiators, having 
heard GE’s views on these matters in the pre negotiations publications they have 
been putting out.
     Negotiations resume tomorrow morning at 9:00AM.           


         2007 IUE-CWA/GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                            Local 201 REPORT # 2
                            Monday, May 21, 7:30 PM

     Negotiations opened today at 2PM at the London Hotel in New York City.
     IUE-CWA President Jim Clark spoke about the destruction of the “middle 
class” in the country” and a 3 million loss of Industrial jobs during the last 
decade. From his visits around GE locals, he referenced the high skills and 
productivity of the GE workforce and that GE needs to bring back work from 
places like China, invest in America, and reward the high skills and productivity 
of their GE workers in this country. He stated “We can’t match the wages and 
benefits of ‘Third World’ countries and did not come here to do such.” He 
complained about GE press releases showing leanings to drive down benefit 
packages, despite year after year of record profits. He cited GE’s complaints 
about medical costs, pension costs, retiree costs etc. with the stark reality of 
GE profits of $20.8 billion, a $16 Billion over funded Pension Plan, and huge 
executive pay raises making their pleas for more and more sacrifices fall on 
deaf ears.
     CWA President Larry Cohen said the entire 700,000 members of CWA 
stood in support of the GE workers. He called on GE to exercise real leadership 
and join the fight for real health care reform, but was concerned that GE was 
balking because they profit so much (GE Medical Systems) from the current 
dysfunctional U.S. Health Care System. Cohen angrily attacked GE for their 
“interference”,” intimidation” and undemocratic behavior  and “threats” of job 
loss in trying to influence GE workers in Florida from unionizing recently.
( Note: Despite that, the small GE Service Shop just voted the Union in). He 
told GE “it is time you begin supporting the U. S Middle Class, not the Chinese 
Middle Class- that is the job of the Chinese Government”. He stated “the winds 
of change are coming” and GE should join and be a real leader as there are 
“incredible opportunities” to improve things in this country.
     IUE-CWA Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor said “we are here 
today, not to hear just what you want and listen to your agenda, while you 
ignore our proposals.” The Chairman then reference the national Health Care 
Strike just over 4 years earlier and that “we are tired of the cost shifting”. 
Santamoor also said that we make sacrifices to keep jobs but where are the 
rewards? He said this Negotiating committee wants higher replacement values 
on pensions and will not put up with attacks on retirees.
     Following the 3 union leaders opening statement, GE Chief Negotiator Bill 
Casey
 gave the Company’s opening Statement. Casey said he came into this 
Negotiation not concerned about “winning” but “resolving issues”. He stated GE 
had not changed their philosophy, that they pay not what they can afford, but 
what was fair and competitive. He said they had the same traditional GE goals 
where there would be “a fair amount of giving, and some amount of taking”.
     On Health Care, Casey said they desired a "competitive level of cost sharing" 
and that they would “refresh some old ideas and bring in some new ones”. He 
said they were planning no major overhaul of Benefit Plans but then Casey 
complained about the escalating costs of programs like the "SERO WINDOW".
     He defended GE not having to pay into the Pension Plan since 1987 on 
good Fund Managers and said basically GE still has put in double what 
participants have put in.
     Casey also defended what GE did in January of 2005 to their non –union 
salaried new hires, saying “they still have both a defined benefit Pension Plan 
and an enhanced 401k Plan”. He stated they were carefully measuring these 
types of plans with increasing competition and longer life expectancies. He 
concluded by stating he was hoping to get a handshake on an agreement by 
Father’s Day.
     With the ceremonial opening over, negotiations will begin at 9AM 
Tuesday, May 22, with the Union presenting its Job Security Demands in the 
morning and Pension demands in the afternoon.


             2007 GE NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
                          Local 201 REPORT #1 
                         Sunday, May 20th 8:00 PM 

     Negotiations open in NYC at 2:00 PM tomorrow.  The following is the reprint of an article published in the Local 201 Electrical Union News back on July 18, 1994, immediately following Local 201’s recommendation to approve that contract (which the membership did).  It was written by current 201 B.A. Ric Casilli, then 201 Vice-President, and seriously criticized what he believed was a “flawed Bargaining process” which thus, many times, led to a “flawed product” (contract) at the end.
     The Business Agent feels not much has changed in the GE bargaining process in these 13 years, and has serious concerns that the 2007 negotiations will follow that same “process” which inherently creates unnecessary stress, conflict, and anger.  Thus, Local 201 is reproducing the column here, on the eve of the 2007 negotiations. 

V.P. Ric Casilli, July 18, 1994

     The Local 201 Executive Policy Board's position on the 1994-1997 
Contract was clearly outlined on the back page of the last issue of the 
Union paper. I do not intend to go over the strengths and weaknesses
of the contract or the details of the Board's position.  Suffice to say, 
there are some decent gains that made this contract "acceptable". 
However, I do want to comment on our remark in that article that 
stated “The 11th Hour Bargaining Method GE used again, 
is heartless and not in the spirit of Good Faith Bargaining.”
     GE's bargaining method seems to be to put more and more 
"takeaways" on the table with each succeeding contract, and their 
method also seems to include leaving them on the table to a later 
and later time with each succeeding contract.
     The reason this is "heartless" to our members and their (GE) 
employees is that it unnecessarily panics individuals and their families 
into thinking strike is inevitable. Now, the Company can claim the 
Union promoted this feeling — to which I say "yes— that's 
absolutely right!  We did promote it" — because when something 
"looks, walks and quacks like a duck" — we call it a "duck".  
The Company had approximately 80 take-aways on the table, 
and all the major ones were kept there until the last minute.  
If that doesn't promote strike feelings — what would?  If the 
Union put forward demands like a 20%, 15%, and 10% wage 
increases with a 20% night bonus, free 100% medical plan coverage, 
with a 100% job guarantee, and triple the pension payments— 
we would be viewed as "employees looking for a strike". And 
if our Union negotiators held firm on these demands to the last day 
— we would probably be "committed". This would be viewed 
as the ultimate in bad faith bargaining.
     Well, in my opinion, that's exactly what GE is doing. Our 
negotiators know it, my fellow officers know it, our Stewards 
know it, and our members know it. GE's strategy — throw lots 
of take-a-ways on the table, test the "waters", withdraw the vast 
majority of take-a-ways at the last minute (due to a strong 
response from our rank and file) and give just enough to prevent 
a strike and make everyone "happy". Well, despite the vote, we 
are not overjoyed with the offer, and we are especially bitter about 
the GE method. The purpose of contract negotiating is to come up 
with a "fair" offer that is arrived at "fairly". If the method is tainted, 
then the final product (the contract proposal) is also tainted. And 
now, after all that they put us through, we are expected to get 
excited over co-operation for the next 3 years? I'm just jumping 
with enthusiasm.  Locally, the Union has associated co-
operation with jobs; Nationally, GE now has shown it continues 
to disassociate co-operation with jobs. (NOTE: No joint sourcing/
subcontractors language in contract).  Thus, it looks like a long 3 years 
unless corporate "empowers" it's different localities to bring work 
into the union locations. I'm not holding my breath after watching their 
behavior at the National Negotiating table.