Wage freeze proposed at GE

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Tom from GE

Erie, PA

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#65
Jun 19, 2009
 

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Here is an example of how these guys operate. I wrote the following letter to the editor but never had it printed for fear of repercussions. This was a several months ago!

MORE EMPLOYEES NEEDED AT GE

I am writing this letter as a personal response to a letter distributed to all GE employees in Erie from local management. I viewed this letter as a direct slap in the face of every Union employee at the Erie Works. The company stated that the Union employees did not work enough overtime during the 4th quarter to make its customer commitments. Because of this the company wants to institute a “MANDATORY OVERTIME” policy. In the long history of the UE506 there has never been mandatory overtime. Overtime has always been offered on a voluntary basis. In the past 70 years no union employee has ever been disciplined for refusing to work overtime.

The funny thing here is that at the start of the 4th quarter the company was begging union employees, most of which had already worked in excess of 1000 hours overtime voluntarily, to for-go their scheduled vacations, holiday plans, hunting seasons, and family time. All to bail out the company because of a poorly managed locomotive platform launch. Company officials openly admitted early in November that management “SCREWED UP” and they needed the help of the union employees to bail them out. The company basically opened up their checkbook and offered virtually unlimited overtime to hundreds upon hundreds of union employees.

I was one of those employees who stepped up and took on the task of building these newly designed locomotives. Hundreds of others worked this overtime to help our company make its commitments. I was there from the first week of November thru the first week of January and had my hands on a large number of the locomotives that where shipped in the 4th quarter.

During December we were building more locomotives per day 7 days per week, than had ever been built in the past. These were record production numbers never before seen at the Erie plant. It would have been very easy to make the companies commitments to our customers if we had been given the opportunity a little sooner, perhaps as little as a few weeks. It is not the fault of the Union employees that the company did not properly manage this program!

There is an anonymous letter circulating throughout the plant that calls for the restructuring of management in an attempt to prevent the poor performance of the 4th quarter of 2008 from reoccurring and promote more business in 2009. I could not agree more!

Our union contract has a provision for changing Local Understandings which calls for mutual agreement. Forty plus years of past practice seems like a pretty clear Local Understanding to me, but in this case the company doesn’t seem to be following the guidelines for changing them. They are just trying to dictate new rules circumventing the contract!

It seems crazy to me that management would try to enforce mandatory overtime on people who already voluntarily work huge amounts of overtime. Especially during times of record unemployment just days after announcing to the press that permanent lay-offs are a very realistic possibility due to the economic down turn.

If so much overtime is necessary to make customer commitments doesn’t it seem like the plant needs an increase in employees who actually build things not sit behind desks coming up with crazy ideas or issuing statements to the press about lay-offs. I think increasing employment is far better for the community than the idea of forcing employees to work extra hours. I am sure that the thousands of unemployed people in our community would agree with me.
The MAAn From Eternity

Canton, OH

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#66
Jun 19, 2009
 
Excellent post Tom. Sometimes I think I come across as rah rah union and ungrateful for my job but for those who haven't worked at GE, they just don't understand.
You seem like a dedicated employee and I too try my best. The problem for me isn't that I work under slave conditions. It's that it's a very hard thing to care about your company, know what's going on because you produce the work, try to give helpful suggestions to management, only in the end to have to stand idley by and watch them make horrendous business decisions. I know you know what I'm referring to.
Again, kudos on the writing.
PS Since the workers have done such a good job reducing our injury rate, I guess a few more here and there won't hurt anything. I guess if stupid GE employees get hurt that's there fault, having nothing to do with conditions in the shop. We have to keep our jobs at all costs, don't we? After all, they can always get more workers, so customers come first.
The MAAn From Eternity

Canton, OH

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#67
Jun 19, 2009
 
The MAAn From Eternity wrote:
Excellent post Tom. Sometimes I think I come across as rah rah union and ungrateful for my job but for those who haven't worked at GE, they just don't understand.
You seem like a dedicated employee and I too try my best. The problem for me isn't that I work under slave conditions. It's that it's a very hard thing to care about your company, know what's going on because you produce the work, try to give helpful suggestions to management, only in the end to have to stand idley by and watch them make horrendous business decisions. I know you know what I'm referring to.
Again, kudos on the writing.
PS Since the workers have done such a good job reducing our injury rate, I guess a few more here and there won't hurt anything. I guess if stupid GE employees get hurt that's there fault, having nothing to do with conditions in the shop. We have to keep our jobs at all costs, don't we? After all, they can always get more workers, so customers come first.
Wow. The last paragraph of that post sounded whiney to me...and I'm the one who wrote it! How bad is that???? LOL
Reason

Canton, OH

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#68
Jun 20, 2009
 

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Despite all the wealth envy, a corporation's managers have the obligation to minimize costs so that the shareholders can maximize profits.

My father works at GE; I told him to accept the pay freeze. Unions in America in 2009 have ZERO bargaining power. Their jobs are replaceable and can be relatively easy to be replaced by offshoring. If I were a member of UE506, I'd rather take a pay freeze and have work for the next few years as opposed to no pay freeze and face a permanent layoff.
The MAAn From Eternity

Canton, OH

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#69
Jun 20, 2009
 

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Reason wrote:
Despite all the wealth envy, a corporation's managers have the obligation to minimize costs so that the shareholders can maximize profits.
My father works at GE; I told him to accept the pay freeze. Unions in America in 2009 have ZERO bargaining power. Their jobs are replaceable and can be relatively easy to be replaced by offshoring. If I were a member of UE506, I'd rather take a pay freeze and have work for the next few years as opposed to no pay freeze and face a permanent layoff.
I understand what you've said. What may I ask would serve as the basis of trusting GE management's position, verbal or written? The fact that you're desperate?
Tom from GE

Erie, PA

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#70
Jun 20, 2009
 
The MAAn From Eternity wrote:
<quoted text>
I understand what you've said. What may I ask would serve as the basis of trusting GE management's position, verbal or written? The fact that you're desperate?
This person just doesn't understand what greed is! GETransportation makes almost $1 Billion dollars profit per year $1,000,000,000 thats 9 zeros.
Wilma Fingerdew

Girard, PA

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#71
Jun 20, 2009
 
Much of that is due to cycle time reductions attributable to better engineering. More of it is due to the price advantage those cycle time improvements allow. EMD didn't go belly-up because of UE506. The work in the shop is cleaner, safer, and easier than ever.
Tom from GE wrote:
<quoted text>
This person just doesn't understand what greed is! GETransportation makes almost $1 Billion dollars profit per year $1,000,000,000 thats 9 zeros.
corey

Slippery Rock, PA

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#72
Jun 20, 2009
 
when things were going great ge never come up with an offer of a wage hike. we just got put on mandatory overtime
Wilma Fingerdew

Girard, PA

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#73
Jun 20, 2009
 
GE is paying 200%+ of the prevailing manufacturing wage in Erie. There is no longer a need to pay a wage comparable to what long gone UAW organized local competitors once paid.

corey wrote:
when things were going great ge never come up with an offer of a wage hike. we just got put on mandatory overtime

Since: Jan 09

United States

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#74
Jun 20, 2009
 
hey if ge is hiring entry level labor someone let me know! ill be glad to apply and work for 20 dollars an hour the net three years for real!
mmm

Slippery Rock, PA

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#75
Jun 21, 2009
 
ya

Since: Jan 09

United States

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#76
Jun 21, 2009
 
mmm wrote:
ya
hell yeah!
headscratcher

Merrick, NY

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#77
Jun 21, 2009
 
You said it.
matt

Stow, OH

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#78
Jun 21, 2009
 

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mrcomment wrote:
hey if ge is hiring entry level labor someone let me know! ill be glad to apply and work for 20 dollars an hour the net three years for real!
Unfortunately even you are too lazy to get a job there!

Since: Jan 09

United States

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#79
Jun 21, 2009
 
matt wrote:
<quoted text>
Unfortunately even you are too lazy to get a job there!
why am i too lazy too get a job there? i dont understand,id show up too work with bells on for 20 dollars an hour.
MCHAMMER Erie Pa

Edinboro, PA

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#80
Jun 23, 2009
 

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Lets say GE employees did agree to a wage freeze until next contract in 2011 what do you think the company is going to do to the next contract? The wage freeze would just be the beginning.What will the company want us to forfeit next.Since the backlog is very small i am sure the company wont say thank you for accepting the freeze then give it back plus a respectful next contract. Ya right.If i remember correctly last year i think they were boasting double digit profits not double digit sales.Big difference.GE might be in a better financial postion had they stayed out of the business of lending money which i think they had bad loans accounting for over 3/4 quarters of a trillon dollars

“6 times baby! Count 'em!”

Since: Feb 09

Meadville

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#81
Jun 27, 2009
 
Omniscient1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Ugh...Squealer fan spewing drab...go find a referee to hand out a Super Bowl ring...Second-class Browns fan... Phttt! Gloom of Steel more is like it. Sorry, seriously, but your posts blow. Tag.
Then a sincere thank you for reading every one of them.
CRANK

North East, PA

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#82
Jun 29, 2009
 

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Lets see. Battery production went to New York, and Immelt just announced a research and development installation in Michigan to assist the Oh-Bam-Me administration mitigate some of the damage done to the Michigan economy by the federal auto maker bail out fiasco. Appears that Pennsylvania isn't a consideration. Where's Eddie? Oh I remember, Old Useless is busy trying to raise our taxes.

“6 times baby! Count 'em!”

Since: Feb 09

Meadville

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#83
Nov 11, 2009
 
Crank, it's not Obama, Bush, Clinton or Reagan etc. etc. It's the system.
WE the people need to change it. The corrupt people we keep voting in are the problem. They are all worthless and live only to be voted in again and again.
It's the most overpaid gravy job on the planet.
dennis

Long Beach, CA

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#84
Nov 11, 2009
 
why don't erie cops get a Wage freeze.....

do they live on another planet???

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