Tentative union contract on table for GE

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) - After down-to-the-wire negotiations, a tentative contract agreement is on the table between General Electric and the IUE-CWA union.  The contract with GE expired at midnight Sunday, but the union's web site reported early Monday morning that a tentative contract had been reached.

"This was a hard-fought negotiations,"  said IUE-CWA GE Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor.  "We've made significant strides from where we started to reaching a deal that we can bring back to the members. The contract also offers a special early retirement window for long-service employees, a key issue for our union members."

Negotiations took about four weeks.  The four-year job packages provide gains in wages, pension and job & income security. The contract provisions also will be extended to other CBC unions, which hold local contracts with GE.

"I congratulate our negotiating committee on working hard to reach an agreement that addresses critical issues for both our union members and the company," said Jim Clark, IUE-CWA President .

Clark and Santamoor is recommending acceptance of the tentative agreement to the IUE-CWA negotiating committee and the conference board.  So is UE General President John Hovis.

"While the proposal contains important improvements and advances, it also contains certain disappointments,"  Hovis said.  "However, given the current economic climate overall it's an agreement we can support."

The IUE-CWA GE local union leaders will meet Wednesday to review the tentative agreement and decide whether to submit it for a ratification vote. The UE/GE Conference Board will meet Tuesday to review the contract and Thursday to make a recommendation to its members.

If recommended for approval by union leaders, union members will vote on the proposal June 30.

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