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Assembly & Test Reductions Update



Assembly & Test Reductions Update 

The Local 201 Grievance Board met again with the River Works Company officials today in a series of ongoing meetings over the Company’s announcement back in September over a reduction over 41 R23 AAEM’s and 4 R20 Grinders forecasted for this January. Local 201 put a report up for our members on our Web Site and Face Book page on Monday December 8, 2014 on this situation. For the last 2 weeks we have been in discussions and negotiations with the Company over the entire River Work workload volume forecast and some work being transferred out and into Lynn. The situation has been changing almost daily.

After today’s meeting with the Company, here is the current situation:

*The Company plans to issue 26 R23 AAEM reductions from Buildings 29, 42, and/or Test Cells and 3 R20 Grind Reductions out of Bldg 29. The lack of works (LOW’S) will be issued by Company on Monday, January 5. That is a total of 29 “permanent” reductions. They also will offer up to 16 volunteer temporary lack of work options for up to 90 days to the R23 AAEM classification by seniority to accomplish the 45 reductions they say they need in January. There are now about 5 members in the impacted Assembly & Test groups that appear will take the $18,000 age 60 and over contractual Bonus and retire. If that occurs, the company will reduce down lower the 16 temporary lack of works offered by the number retiring.

*The 29 members moving on lack of work will move and be placed by the Employment Office under Article XI of our National Contract and our related local Layoff and Transfer Supplement (LOT’S). This will occur January 5, 2015 through January 9, 2015. The Union will have appointed representatives involved in this process to assist members per our LOT’S agreement. The Company is planning on opening up a total of  35 jobs on January 5, 2015 – 29 positions in Plant IV(R16, R17 and R19 rates) and 6 positions in Bldg 63FSC (R16) to help in the placement process. Members moving under the LOTS may have other options and/or bumping rights on other members depending on their GE work history and seniority. However, the 35 openings are more than enough openings to ensure no one shall be forced out on the street on layoff in the plant.

*As you aware, there has been an ongoing dispute with the Company on how many R23 AAEM’s layoffs can be contributed to volume drop. The union feels only 22 of the lack of works of AAEM’S are volume related and all additional permanent layoffs above that number are a result of a transfer of work. The Union feels it has a strong contractual case that any R23 AAEM reductions going beyond the 22 number should fall under Article XXII benefits and rights. The Company continues to disagree. However, “on a no precedent and no prejudice position to the Union and Company’s Article XXII respective positions” – the Company has agreed to provide a rate guarantee to any R23 AAEM permanently laid off following the first 22 R23 AAEM volume reductions. So at this time – the last 4 R23 AAEM’s being lack of worked (the highest seniority) shall receive a 78 week rate guarantee. If any further permanent lack of works on R23 AAEM’s do get issued in the following months- they would also fall under the same rate guarantee.

*Anyone R23AAEM choosing a voluntary temporary lack of work by seniority for up to 90 days shall be guaranteed at least one month out but could be recalled back to work at any time after the first month. Any such person (after a one week unemployment waiting period) can receive up to 75% of their 40 hour weekly pay and premium free GE medical and dental benefits while out.

*In an unrelated event, the Company is offering 22 voluntary temporary up to 90 day lack of works by seniority to various Craft classifications also to begin January 5, 2015. See your Craft Steward or Board Member for details on this.

*Both temporary voluntary lack of work offerings (R23 AAEM’s and the various Craft Classifications) will need to be approved at the January 28, 2015 Membership Meeting. However, per past practice the Union is allowing them to start January 5, 2015 anticipating subsequent approval. If not, Members would be called back from  the temporary lack of works.




Lynn Assembly and Test Reductions.

The Local 201 Union Grievance Board met with top River Works Company officials Friday afternoon December 6 on the state of the business and in specific the pending 45 Lynn Assembly & Test Reductions the Company has been forecasting since last September.
The Union has been appealing to the Company to leave the CF34-8C work in Lynn to compliment the T700 work they plan on bringing back to Lynn in the first quarter of 2015. The Union argued keeping such work would cut the pending 45 reductions in half. The Company has NOT agreed to keep the CF34-8C work here.
However, the Company has agreed to cut the forecasted 45 permanent lack of works approximately in half by offering temporary voluntary lack of works for the balance of reductions.
Assembly & Test management is meeting with our Assembly & Test members and Board member/Stewards today December 8 to announce the outline of a plan to issue approximately 20- 25 permanent lack of work notices in the R23 AAEM and R20 Grind classifications in Buildings 29 and 42 to take effect in mid January 2015. The exact number is still being discussed with the Union. These lack of works are linked to the heavy volume drop in the T700 and F414 schedules in 2015. The Company has stated they have enough openings in Plant IV and Bldg 63 to avoid any member from being force layoff “to the street”. With the announcement, there will be age 60 and over retirement $18,000 Bonus opportunities in these impacted classifications plant wide and in any classification that happens to be hit by a displacement (a “bump”). It is anticipated that 2 or 3 members may choose such retirement reducing the number of lack of works by the same number
The Company has also agreed to Local 201’s proposal to offer temporary voluntary layoffs to the R23 AAEM Classification for the balance of the reductions. The details of this voluntary layoff plan will be discussed with the Union over the next 2 weeks – as to the exact number, when they would start, how long they will be etc. It is our hope that enough volunteers take the temporary voluntary lack of work to avoid any more permanent lack of works at this time. The idea is to try to bridge about a 6-9 month period until after the 2015 Contract when it is anticipated many R23 AAEM’s and other members will retire and that will hopefully alleviate the need for any more permanent lack of works.
Members moving on the permanent lack of works in January 2015 will be moved under our Layoff & Transfer Supplement to new jobs based on their seniority and GE job history. They will retain recall rights to the classification that are being laid off from.
Other more senior members choosing temporary voluntary lack of works will be eligible for Income Extension Aid (75% of weekly pay when combined with unemployment), and premium free medical & dental. We will keep you updated, as there could be some changes to the above plan.

IUE-CWA Local 201 Election 2014

Many races were uncontested and were previously listed in the paper. Those candidates are now officially elected. The Local 201 Election Committee posted the final official results of the contested races yesterday  An asterisk * next to a name below indicate the official winners
Business Agent
Ric Casilli * (official winner) with a majority vote of approximately 77%  (Note: Required to be over 50% of all votes cast among the candidates OR there would be a runoff election among the top two candidates with votes). Officially, no such contest needed.
David Lurvey
Mike Matayabas
Vice President/Recording Secretary
Mike Reidy Sr.
John Walsh * (official winner)
Neftaly Alvarez
Thomas O’Shea * (official winner)
Trustee (GE River Works-Vote for up to 2)
Jared L. Ayer
Joseph James Caloggero
William Holm
Sean Mahoney * (official winner)
Pat Ryan * (official winner)
AE Assembly, Test & FSC Executive Board (GE)
William Mahar * (official winner)
Mark Raymond Workman
Delegate to the General Electric IUE-CWA Conference Board
Michael D. McDermott
Mike Reidy Sr.
Fred Russell * (official winner)

GE Work Situation Update


Friday, September 19, 2014


This is an update of where things currently stand. LMO reductions were reduced from 98 to 91. Plant IV openings increased to 92 jobs. All LMO reductions have now been placed in their new jobs and most have already moved. There is also approximately 8 potential openings in the Flight Support Center, which are not being filled at this time.


As of Friday, September 19, it appears at least 82 Plant IV pieceworkers were going to retire October 1, 2014 under one of the two negotiated retirement programs. And it appears approximately 11 Plant IV 59 years old pieceworkers were fairly definite that they would be taking the Layoff Benefit Package. So it appears a total of about 93 members will exit the plant on October 1, 2014. This number could change a bit during the next 7 days – either going a bit lower of higher. The hope is the number will go up a bit more creating more job openings.


The Plant IV joint sub-committee has been discussing the Plant IV farmed-out work under Tables 1 and 2 of the Memorandum of Understanding. Union Board members on the sub-committee report that the meetings have been going good and they are very hopeful that more work will be coming into Plant IV over the next few months and new job openings will result. These meetings will be held almost every week


The Union has also been in some discussions with the Company concerning the forecasted 45 reductions for Assembly & Test in January 2015. The Union has been suggesting keeping the CF34-8C work in house and/or bringing in other work to fill until the T700 and CT7 orders pick up again in about a year. These talks will be on going.


The Company reiterated their commitment to the Business Agent today to continue to explore with the Union any possible ideas or ways to achieve the goal of not having to resort to any hard layoffs “to the street” in January 2015. This process will go on through the last quarter of 2014.

Correction to the BA news paper article

CORRECTION: This article ran in the September 9, 2014 Union News. The Business Agent would like to correct some of the figures used in the example in the 5th paragraph. The percentages used in our newspaper in that paragraph were the social security percentages for members born between 1943 and 1954. However, the example used in the article was a member born in 1955 and those figures are a bit different. They are corrected below.  The few changes are highlighted in in bold print.



Business Agent’s Column

By Ric Casilli




In my last 2 columns, I outlined what I thought would be two necessary ingredients to improve the GE Pension Plan in the 2015 contract. These were improvement in the Pension Update and the Guaranteed Pension Tables. These two items would help one’s base pension for the rest of one’s life. (Note: There also are other areas of the Pension Plan that could be improved to help a member’s base pension for life – like improving the future service career annuity formula and lowering survivorship option deductions for example.)


However, there is a third piece of the pension package that is critical to improve despite the fact that is does not add anything to a member’s life base pension. That is the 2 Pension Supplements that are temporary in nature but “bridge” that tough period between GE Optional Retirement (age 60) and the date you are eligible to collect 80% of your Social Security benefit (63-64 years old for vast majority of  members that will be retiring under the next contract).


The negotiated optional retirement age, to collect an unreduced pension, is age 60 under the GE Pension plan. Thus, many members retire at age 60 or sometimes before they are eligible for any Social Security (SS) monies at age 62 to supplement their pension.  The problem got heightened with changes made under the Social Security law amendments (back under Reagan in 1983) which gradually increased the age one had to reach to receive 80% and 100% Social Security.


For example, members born between 1943 and 1954, now have to wait to age 63 (rather then 62) to get 80% SS benefits and age 66 (rather then 65) to get their 100% SS benefits. The age requirement for such benefits gradually gets higher (worse) for people born after 1954. But the pension supplements continue past 63 for members born 1955 and later to the month you become eligible for 80% Social Security.


Let’s use an example. A member’s birth date is June 29, 1955. That member wishes to retire on July 1, 2015 right after his 60th birthday. He/She begins receiving their GE union negotiated unreduced Pension right away at age 60. However, he/she is not eligible to collect any Social Security benefits until age 62 and should he/she decide to begin collecting Social Security then at age 62, he/she would be eligible ONLY for a 74.1% SS benefit going forward for life. If he/she waits to age 63 the SS benefits would be 79.1% going forward for life. (Note: @ age 64-it would be 85.5%, @ age 65- 92.2%, and @ age 66- 98.8%). This is where the GE Pension supplements come in. They provide a “financial bridge” for this member for the 3+ year gap to age 63 (and a couple of months) when the member becomes eligible for 80% Social Security. (Note: The age one ultimately decides to collect their Social Security has no impact at all on the period this member can collect his pension supplements. This member would receive the GE pension supplements for 3+ years from age 60 until he/she turns 63 and a couple of months (Age of his /her eligibility,based on his/her year of birth, to collect 80% Social security).



The Union recognized this “gap” problem years ago and thus negotiated Pension Supplements to help “bridge” people’s earning until they could collect at least their 80% social security. The Pension supplements negotiated originally ended at age 62, which at that time was the eligibility age for 80% Social Security. When the negative Social Security changes began impacting members, the Union also negotiated improvements that the supplements would continue until one reaches whatever their eligibility age was to receive their 80% Social Security benefit (currently age 63 for most members but that age goes up gradually for those members born 1955 or later) Thus, the union maintained the original design feature of the Supplements, to “bridge” all members to at least the 80% Social Security eligibility age.


With the ending of the GE pension supplements at age 63 or a bit higher, most members financially need then to begin collecting their 80% Social Security Benefit. The Union has, over the years, negotiated improvements of the amounts of both supplements and that will be necessary to do again.




  1. REGULAR SUPPLEMENT- $20.00 per month, per year of Pension Benefit Service until  the age of eligibility for 80% social security benefits (Examples: 30 years PBS=$600 monthly benefit ; 35 years PBS = $700 monthly benefit)


  1. SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT- $400 per month until the age of eligibility for 80% social security benefits


Obviously, we would like to see decent improvements in the amounts of both supplements again. However, a novel improvement would extend the time period that one gets the two supplements from the “the age of eligibility for 80% social security benefits to “the age of eligibility for 100% social security benefits”.  This would allow the member, if he/she so wishes, to possibly afford to defer collecting their Social Security until age 66 (or higher) and thus get his/her full 100% Social Security for life.




  • Many Local 201 members will be eligible to retire at age 60 or above under the 2015 Contract.
  • Thus, Improvements in the Pension Update, Guaranteed Pension Table, and Pension Supplements are more important than ever and are 3 key ingredients needed in Pension Plan improvements.



NOTE: I will be highlighting more Key Contract 2015 areas  in upcoming articles such as the Pre-65 Retiree  Medical Plan & Contribution rate issues, the potential elimination of post 65 and life insurance for many current members and recent retirees, the Younger Local 201 Members’ needs, and the protection of New Hires benefits

LATO announcement not unexpected!


Thursday, September 4, 2014


The Company yesterday notified Local 201 that they finally had the volume drop figures and their anticipated impact on Lynn Assembly & Test Areas of the plant (LATO). The Union had been previously told the site was 150-200 heads too heavy plant wide, as has been reported numerous times to our members. The Union was well aware we were waiting for reduction numbers in other areas of the plant other than LMO. The LMO announced reductions by the Company was 98 “heads” which now has been reduced to 92 “heads”. Plant IV openings now are up to 92 so far.  More openings are anticipated as the retirements occur and as the farm-in committee gets rolling. There are also a handful of openings in the Bldg. 63 Flight Support Center.


The Company announcement yesterday that we will be 46 “heads” too heavy in the first quarter of next year in Assembly & Test comes as no surprise.   We were anticipating such an announcement – but did not know what the exact figure would be. The Company previously told us there would be no reductions in Assembly & Test this year (2014). They continued to state such yesterday with this announcement.


They now have forecasted approximately 46 reductions will be needed sometime in the first quarter of 2015. The Union has raised some questions regarding the Company’s plans for Assembly & Test engine line work they intend to farm back in and some questions on what engine line work they intend to farm back out. The Union intends to have a series of discussion with the Company on this but the Company is stating the “switch” they are planning is a net gain of 10 jobs for Lynn or the reductions would have been higher.


The Union right now is focused on the getting Plant IV openings filled, the retirements processed out and getting the farmed out work rolling back into Plant IV per our Piecework Agreement. The Assembly and Test work will be discussed fully in the coming weeks.


The goal of the Company and Union in regards to stopping or minimizing hard layoffs “to the street” has NOT changed one bit by yesterdays expected stated impact on LATO. Such impact is NOT occurring for almost 4 months and it was something both parties knew was part of the total impact being forecasted.

Plant Gate Show Of Support


FRIDAY, Sept 5, 2:45PM-3:15PM


On this Friday, September 5, IUE-CWA Local 201 endorsed candidate Congressman John Tierney (running for reelection) will be at the GE Fairchild Street Gate between 2:45PM and 3:15PM with Local 201 in a show of mutual support. John has long time been a supporter of trying to bring work to Lynn and has supported the Union’s campaigns against acts like NAFTA and currently TPP which serve to ship jobs out of this country. He has been a staunch supporter of veterans and working people’s issues.


Any Local 201 member (or others) are welcome to join us for this brief period in show our support for his candidacy and as a thank-you for his help over many years.

GE lack of work update August 28, 2014



The Company/ Union Replacement Committee met early today discussing the Company announced job reductions and openings mentioned in yesterday’s report. After some discussion, the Company has now reduced the 98 announced reductions to 94 at this time. Plant IV job openings remain at 90 at this time and there is likely also going to be some additional openings in the Building 63 Flight Support Center.  The employment office has began calling members in impacted classifications plantwide that have put in for retirement options previously (or currently) to see if they wish to retire October 1, 2014 – mainly those 60 or over with more than 15 years service that have applied for the SVLB  ($18,000 bonus) retirement option. The 94 reduction number would drop with each daywork member retirement that cancels out a lack of work. There has been no change reported in regard to the Piecework members retirement numbers listed in yesterdays report.


Members impacted by the reduction will be notified by the Company Friday and will be called by the employment office beginning next week for job placement. Members should wait to be called before going to the employment office for placement. Aircraft Board member Jeff Francis and Business Agent Ric Casilli will be monitoring the placement process


Shift polling has started in Plant IV of the Plant IV members that plan to stay working to identify where the openings will be for the employment office. Plant IV Board Member Mark Workman and stewards are monitoring this process.


The Company/ Union Plant IV jobs sub-committee shall begin meetings next week to begin working on bringing the farmed out work (from Table 1 of Appendix B of the Piecework Agreement) back in house. Boards Member Skip Brown, Fred Russell and VP Pete Capano will be heading up the union team involved in this process


We will keep you posted

Piecework negotiations update Friday June 6, 2014

FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2014 (from Local 201 Website)
• Bargaining Sessions were held Monday, June 2 and Wednesday, June 4 this week.
• Little progress was made – Union and Company Proposals remain far apart.
• Company rejected Union’s simple Proposal # 4A compensation provisions providing for a permanent “Red Circle” for current pieceworkers @ average earnings,
• Company rejected Union’s more complicated Proposal #5 compensation provisions that included a temporary “Red Circle” period for current pieceworkers @ average earnings, extending pension update years to include 2011, 2012, and 2013/2014, retirement options and varying piecework “buyout bonuses” depending on whether someone retires or stays and transitions to piecework.
• Union rejected Company Proposal #5 compensation provisions which provided a retirement incentive program for those ages 60 and over that was less than the regular VRIP bonus, a SERO/SERO 30 program (those age 50-59) with no buyout bonus, and a piecework buyout bonus for those staying less than one half of what the union proposed. There was no red circle period, no pension update or pension improvements, and no piecework “buyout” bonuses for anyone retiring
• Union rejected Company Proposal #6 compensation provisions which provided a retirement incentive program for those ages 60 and over that was the same as the VRIP Bonus, a SERO/SERO 30 program (age 50-59) with no buyout bonus, and a short temporary period for those staying where they would get paid a rate in between their average rate and the new daywork rate. There was no red circle period at average earnings, no pension update or pension improvements, and no piecework “buyout” bonuses for anyone. Members staying would be worse off under this proposal than they were under inadequate previous company proposal
• Union and Company proposals also far apart on Job Security provisions but these have not been discussed much yet due to time being spent on compensation part of an agreement
• Union stated that the Company proposals would not come near to achieving the 50-75 Plant IV retirements they desired. They would be lucky to get a “handful”.
• Union stated the Company proposals would hurt badly the business, schedules, productivity, training and skills retention.
• Union stated our members would never accept such a low compensation offer in the areas of pension (nothing) and buyout bonuses (little to nothing)
• Union requested a serious Company proposal that was in the “ballpark”.
• More negotiation details coming- Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Local 201 Newspaper
• Next Bargaining session is Monday. June 9, 2014.

Piecework Negotiations Update Friday May 30, 2014


Friday, May 30 2014


The Company and Union met again on Thursday, May 29 2014. The Company rejected Local 201’s proposal for a permanent red circle stating that the union’s proposal does not address the need to reduce shop rate, improve competitiveness or allow for the rebalancing of labor with Lynn.


The Union disagreed with the Company’s assessment of our proposal stating the Union proposal would do all of the above, especially if the Company began immediate hiring (following an agreement) of members into Plant IV on daywork rated jobs and brought in large amounts farmed out work. The Union pointed out that acceptance of the Union’s proposed permanent red circle would “greatly simplify” these negotiations. Such acceptance would close out the “compensation” part of the package and allow the parties to concentrate the negotiations on just the job security provisions.


The company continued to reject the permanent red circle and presented an adjusted proposal that increased the incentive payment for pieceworkers (age 60 and over) wishing to retire and for pieceworkers staying and transitioning to day work rate at the end of June 2014. The Company proposal continued to provide SERO and SERO 30 opportunities for most pieceworkers under age 60. The company increased their commitments on the number of immediate Plant IV day work postings from 30 to 50

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