LOUISVILLE, Ky. Hourly workers at GE Appliances overwhelmingly rejected a contract proposal held Wednesday in Louisville.
This is the second time since the manufacturing complex was bought by China-based Haier in 2016 that workers voted “no” on a contract offer, this time with 87 percent of the vote against.
The result is that the company and the leadership of IUE-CWA Local 83761, which represents more than 3,800 employees, will return to the bargaining table.
“We are disappointed that the employees did not vote to accept the proposed contract which was unanimously approved by the IUE-CWA bargaining team. After listening carefully to employee and union feedback and good faith negotiations, the proposal offered significant wage gains without increasing contributions to the payroll for health care, ”said the spokesperson for the health care system. company Julie Wood in a statement after the vote count Wednesday evening.
Earlier:GE Appliances, union agreement: workers vote today on new four-year contract
Dean “Dino” Driskell, the president of Local 83761, said he and other members of the union team will be reaching out to workers in each of the buildings to identify specific concerns. But it’s already clear that “wages and benefits seem to be the predominant issues,” Driskell said in a text.
The proposed four-year deal included an entry-level wage increase to $ 15.50 an hour, from $ 14 an hour. It also did not include an increase in employee contributions for health insurance for two years, in 2021 and 2022.
The package provided for salary increases averaging $ 7,000 over the next two years for employees hired since 2005. Production employees hired between June 2009 and the end of December 2016 were to receive a raise of 70 cents per hour. this month and an additional 50 cents an hour. from next June.
Night bonuses were to double, to $ 1 an hour, for employees hired after February 2017. The parties also agreed to a voluntary departure package for people 60 years of age or over hired before October 2005 in production. or before June 2009 in the skilled trades.
After two years, the parties agreed to reopen negotiations on wages and benefits for the second half of the contract. Union leaders told workers in a memo that such a “reopening” would give a clearer picture of future health insurance costs.
Wood said, “This year has been full of change and volatility in the wake of COVID-19. The long-term impact on our economy and our business is still uncertain. The home appliance industry is extremely competitive and a fair deal that ensures the stability and security of our employees while addressing the challenges we face as a business is essential to the success of employees and our business. “
Earlier:Appliance Park and GE unionized workers reach agreement on interim contract
In the fall of 2016, after Haier bought Appliance Park from General Electric and established a US-based subsidiary to oversee the business, the workers and the new business had to forge a new employment contract. The workers overwhelmingly viewed the initial deal as a cheap offer and rejected it.
Even though a second was ratified, union leaders indicated there was resentment over a starting wage of $ 14 an hour that does not match other employers in this region. This has led to massive turnover.
Tensions mounted last spring between the company and workers, who complained that their safety was secondary as the coronavirus epidemic struck Louisville. The parties have reached agreement on several safety precautions and rules for workers to isolate after exposure.
Grace Schneider: 502-582-4082; [email protected]; Twitter: @gesinfk. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/graces
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