GE Decision Bargaining Moves Forward - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

GE Decision Bargaining Moves Forward

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GE's "decision bargaining" talks with union workers are moving forward.  The two sides are having a conversation over the company's plans to send 950 jobs to its new manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Negotiating teams for the two sides have met face to face only one time so far.  They sat down to bargain on Wednesday April 24.

U-E 506 President Scott Duke says his five member negotiation team decided against meeting for a second day of talks on Thursday April 25, so that they could decipher a large among of information the company has provided so far.  The contents of that information is proprietary, but we do know that the union asked the company to justify its analysis that locomotive production is more effective in Texas. 

Duke is still waiting to know exactly what GE wants from union members, in order to keep as much work here as possible and in his words, "I'd like to know sooner, rather than later."

Because of bargaining ground rules and the sensitivity of the talks, the union president declined to talk on camera.  So did Ron DiNicola, the attorney representing the union in the negotiations. 

We talked Eric Seggi, a labor specialist and staff representative from a different union, the Communications Workers of America.  While he is not privy to the UE's talks, Seggi believes GE workers may have tough concession choices ahead.  "It's tough to put yourself in that situation, it's not good for workers, their families or the community because people go shopping, buy cars, other products, go to restaurants and when wages go down it creates a ripple effect on the entire community," said Seggi. 

The 60 days of decision bargaining is expected to be up on June 11.  After that a period of job preservation talks is set to begin, on how individual employees will be impacted by the GE job moves.

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