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Open letter to IUE-CWA Local 83761 on the GE Haier Tentative Agreement

November 18, 2016

Sisters and Brothers,

First, let me congratulate your Local 761 bargaining committee and the GE Conference board staff for reaching a tentative contract under tough conditions. Bargaining is never easy, but bargaining with a new owner who has facilities around the world and who will be deciding where to put their production next year–the stakes are even higher.  Please take the time to get the full details of the tentative agreement, and don’t listen to rumors or break-area politicians. There is never an agreement where the members get everything they want, unless the company only wants to appease them until they can close the plant.  I have not had the chance to review the agreement, but the Conference Board tells me that it is a good first contract and your full Local 761 bargaining committee voted to accept and recommend it.  Our hope is that there will be many contracts in the future for improvements.

Rumor control:  We have been getting calls at headquarters that rumors are circulating that because of a FMCS letter not being filed, somehow this disadvantaged the bargaining process.  This is absolutely false.  The union and company lawyers coordinated the company’s filing of the notice several weeks ago.

There was no date for bargaining to end.  If the committee did not feel they had a good agreement, they could and would still be bargaining.  Your committee voted for this agreement because they felt it was the best deal they could get.  In every negotiations, there are always a couple of WEAK leaders or committee members who find an excuse to try to lay blame to explain why they did not bring back everything you could possibly want.  This rumor appears to be the WEAK at work.  Instead of standing up and saying this is the best we can get, they cower from the truth and hide behind lies and accusations.

I’m sure everyone wants the contract settled and to know that Haier will be investing in your plant next year, instead of spending the holidays worrying if you will be working in 2017.

Listen to the details, be educated about the tentative agreement (not rumors), and vote.\

In solidarity,

Jim Clark

 

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