GE workers in Lynn reject labor deal, putting pact in peril
By Greg Ryan – Law and Money Reporter, Boston Business Journal
Members of a local union representing workers at General Electric Co.’saviation plant in Lynn voted down a labor agreement on Tuesday, potentially killing the proposal for several thousand employees at GE facilities nationwide.
The members of IUE-CWA Local 201 joined with their fellow workers at a GE (NYSE: GE) facility in Schenectady, New York, in rejecting the deal. The national IUE-CWA and GE management struck the tentative agreement last month, but it still needed to be approved by workers in local chapters of the union.
Nationwide, a majority of union members voted in favor of the agreement on Tuesday, but under union rules, the pact may still ultimately be rejected. That’s because if a local chapter rejects a deal, as happened in Lynn, all of that chapter’s votes are supposed to be counted as a “no.” Assuming that's the case, the deal would fail under Tuesday's vote.
The national IUE-CWA’s lawyers are reviewing the vote, according to a statement posted on Facebook, adding that the union will make a definitive statement regarding the vote once that review is complete.
GE Aviation spokesman Rich Gorham said the outcome was still being determined and declined further comment.
The four-year deal would increase hourly wages and multiple lump-sum cash payments, while upping annual health care deductibles.
The vote comes amid significant changes at Boston-based GE, as CEO Larry Culp restructures the company following a years-long stock-price decline.
As of earlier this year, the Lynn plant had approximately 2,600 employees. The facility scored a major victory earlier this year when the U.S. Army chose a GE Aviation engine for its helicopters, a decision that could give the Lynn plant significant work for decades to come.