Feature Story

GE Lynn Update

January 16, 2018

2018 came in like a bear and the first quarter will be another whirlwind of activity. On January 2nd, Business Agent Maher and President Capano met with Aviation Supply Chain Leader Tony Aiello and Aviation HR Leader Nate Bailey. This meeting highlighted the progress of GE-Lynn and the many accomplishments of IUE-CWA Local 201.

There is a new HR Leader in LAT&O , a new UR specialist (Mia Moore) and the landscape that we are familiar with will continue to change as the February 28th VRIP departures near. This VRIP will create movement and upgrade opportunity. IUE-CWA Local 201 has 106 members in the top 600 nationwide and 132 in the top 700.

As we go to press, thirty-Five (35) Advanced Aircraft Engine Mechanics (AAEM) will be posted. The list will be reviewed by the Union, prior to calling employees over, to ensure accuracy.

The new Northeastern University degree completion program (B.S. in Advanced Manufacturing) will begin a second class shortly. Anyone interested in this program should contact their HR Leader.

The newly negotiated Cooperative Education program with Lynn Vocational & Technical School will begin next week. The first student has been selected.

New Hire Interviews will continue at a torrid pace for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, 1/17 from 2:00-4:00PM a Retirement Information Session will take place at the IUE-CWA Union Hall. See notice on page 4.

GE & Aerospace Conference Board is scheduled for the second week of March.

Unions Fight Wage Theft

                                        By Jeff Crosby President North Shore Labor Council

            Recently a restaurant worker stopped by the Union Hall, looking for the North Shore Labor Council.  Turns out she had not been paid her final checks after she went out on maternity leave at a McDonald’s.  In another case, custodians who worked for a subcontractor for the City of Revere were told to punch out and keep working after the end of a shift – and did not get paid the overtime.  At a Lynn church last month, a parishioner was referred for help to the Lynn Workers Center (a part of the Labor Council) when he reported that he had not been paid at his construction job for six weeks!

            “Wage Theft”, or not paying employees legally required wages like the minimum wage or overtime, is actually a big business in Massachusetts.  Studies estimate that workers lose over $700 million a year in illegally stolen wages!  In some cases the workers are undocumented immigrants and afraid to speak up –even though the law is clear that anyone who works has to get paid.  In other cases the workers are citizens and legal residents who aren’t getting paid, but have no union to help them.

            In addition to hurting the workers who lose the pay, we lose money for schools, bridges, and police and fire departments – because the employers also don’t pay taxes.  One study says uncollected income and Unemployment taxes cost the state $400 million a year!

            Workers with a union contract have protections.  But with Wage Theft pushing wages down, it is harder and harder to defend our own standard of living.  Even in machine shops, an E-Team graduate recently reported working “under the table”, for $10 an hour, with no taxes and benefits, by himself, at night.  If subcontractors (and the subcontractors of the subcontractors) can shift work to places like that, how long can we compete? Small businesses who pay legitimate wages and play by the rules are also unfairly undercut by those who don’t.

            The North Shore Labor Council and the Lynn Workers Center are pushing for a Wage Theft Ordinance in Lynn like those already passed in Chelsea, Springfield, Boston and other cities.  It would say that any business that gets a contract with the City of Lynn, or a tax break from the City, or a restaurant license, has to certify that that they have not been cited by the Attorney General for Wage Theft in the last 5 years.  If they have been cited, the business would have to buy a wage bond (insurance) to make sure their workers get paid if they became repeat offenders.  Otherwise, why should the city continue to support businesses that cheat their workers and other businesses?

            At press time, it appeared that the ordinance would come up for a public hearing and a vote at the Lynn City Council on Tuesday, February 13 (tentative date).  Union members are invited to come down to the hearing and support passing the bill.