Will GE follow through on a plan to transfer 950 jobs to Texas? The decision bargaining window to convince the company to do otherwise passed over the weekend, without the company and its union, UE 506 reaching an agreement.
What happens now? Sources say GE must present a formal plan on how it will proceed. Union officials say they'll continue to fight for those 950 jobs. They say according to their union contract, the transfer of jobs can't begin until October 2013. Company officials say they will continue to demonstrate a "good faith" working relationship with the union and the employees it represents.
Union President Scott Duke told us, "It's time to focus on business and getting out best product out to the customer." Duke says it's possible that ideas about work rules and efficiency discussed at the bargaining table could be implemented, in spite of the impasse at the bargaining table.
The two sides could not resolve their differences on how to save jobs. In its final offer, GE reportedly called for retaining 410 of the targeted 950 jobs, if the union would reopen its labor contract and accept a freeze on wages and cost of living increases for the remaining two years of the agreement. GE reportedly also wanted the union to add a lower tier wage for new hires and make mandatory overtime part of the labor agreement. Sources say the jobs retained under the offer would have been subject to orders and "work flow."
Instead, UE 506 offered ideas it said would save $26 million dollars without opening the contract and renegotiating wages.
Duke was anticipating an informal meeting with the head of the company bargaining team on Monday, but that did not happen. The two sides expect to meet later in the week, but don't expect the conversation to be about negotiations.
There are no plans at this time for talks to resume.