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IUE-CWA and UE members voted to ratify 2011-2015 national agreements.

The IUE-CWA/GE Conference Board voted to recommend acceptance of the 2011-2015 tentative national agreement with General Electric. Voting at the locals will be concluded by 10 p.m. June 29. Click here to see a summary of the agreement.

NEW YORK – Yesterday evening IUE-CWA reached a tentative agreement with General Electric that held health care cost increases to 2.5 percent.

If ratified, the four-year agreement would create a separate health care plan from GE’s salaried offering with a radically different cost structure. GE’s salaried workers started paying 35 percent of their health care costs last year. Hourly workers would pay 24 percent, up from the 21.5 percent they have been paying since 2007.

After four weeks of intense negotiations, IUE-CWA and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America have reached tentative national agreements with General Electric.

It was another long day at the small table. Incremental progress was made in some areas. But the health care plan remains "ugly as hell.”

It became apparent that the company wants to clear the decks so talks focus on new hire issues and medical as the Sunday expiration date looms. The next 72 hours promise to be a tough road.

Another day of a whole lot of nothing. Progress at the small table was characterized as “slower than slow molasses.” But of course there was nothing sweet about it. Just a sticky mess.

Not a good day at the small table. Slow going is the norm in the final stages of talks, but veterans of the small table say this year is starting slower than most.

Take a look at what GE's proposed Health Catastrophe plan will cost you.

A Busy Week -- The last week before hunkering down at the subcommittees and small table was a contentious one as SEROs, health care and pensions came under the microscope. Not surprisingly, both sides had identified these issues as the ones that will make or break as deal long before talks opened. By the end of the week positions were well staked out; the only question is how much movement will be evident in the final days of negotiations.

The Bottom Line – It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Can a compromise be had? No sign of it this week.

Packed to the rafters, some 3,500 GE workers and their families and supporters gathered in Erie, Pa., June 4 to deliver a single message: “We Are One.”  The approach crossed every issue on the table … one as the unions of the CBC … one as old and young sticking together … one in opposing GE’s Health Catastrophe plan.

CBC Negotiations Update -- Week 2 covers GE ancillary benefits, pension and health care trends, the union's take on new hire benefits and wages.

The Bottom Line – Rocky week. It’s getting testy. And it’s still early.

USA Today explores high deductible insurance plans in an article that ran this week.

CBC Negotiations Update – Week 1 covers Opening Day, GE presentations on economics, health care and new hires and union presentations on job security and pensions.

The Bottom Line – Have to feel confident about GE’s presentations. Uniformly those giving them call them “pitches” – meaning they know they are giving a sale’s job. Too bad we’re not buying.

Discover what GE’s proposed Health Catastrophe Plan
means for you and your family.

UE General President John Hovis is concerned that GE is “overreaching” in response to the depressed economy. He calls company treatment of new hires and salaried "not only wrong, but at times mean-spirited."

National negotiations with General Electric opened in New York City, with the IUE-CWA table starting today and the UE table opening tomorrow.

CBC unions protested at the 2011 shareholders meeting, asking for an increase in their pensions and for GE to stop its demand for significant health care cost shifting. Click above to read the remarks by CBC representative Mike Cerrone.

Some 500 members from three IUE-CWA Kentucky locals turned out to hear how GE is planning to force massive health care cost shifting on them.

Let's look at a typical family with some assumed health care expenses and see if their health care costs change if they move to GE’s Health Choice options.

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt likes to complain that health care costs have reached $3 billion and are increasing 9 percent annually. Those are some big numbers. But so is the size and profitability of GE.

In a victory for GE unions' shareholder activism, GE's 'golden coffin' agreements will now be subject to shareholder approval.

IUE-CWA GE and Aerospace Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor blasts GE's salaried plan and management's attempts to negortiate outside the national contract talks.

Learn how GE manipulates the U.S. health care system for its own profits.

Elected leaders from more than 25 different local unions and six unions holding contracts with General Electric met January 8 to discuss mobilization efforts in advance of this year’s national negotiations with the industrial giant.

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