SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 25, 2013

Union and GE to meet today over strike notice

A local union issued two strike orders to General Electric yesterday, setting up the possibility of a strike on the part of 1,900 workers at GE’s aviation plant in Lynn.

Company and union representatives were scheduled to meet today at 9 a.m. to discuss the union’s grievances and possible strike actions, the union said. The meeting is required by contract after a strike notice is issued.

In its notice to the company, the union said “contemplated action by the Local may include a strike of all or some of the employees.”

IUE-CWA Local 201 is upset about what it says is the company’s practice of “farming out” work to other plants and vendors. The union said the outsourcing has been done in violation of its contract and has led to job losses.

Local 201 said the company failed to notify the union when it transferred work to Korea and Maine.

General Electric says the majority of the company’s aircraft engines are manufactured in Lynn and its other supply chain facilities. It says it has always used other vendors and supplies for some of its engine parts.

“The grievances referenced have been cleared through our internal union relations process, and we believe that all contractual obligations have been met,” GE spokesman Richard Gorham said.

The union said its grievance board would have to vote before there would be a strike.

This is the first time that Local 201 has issued a strike notice since 2007. It last went on strike in 2002.

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