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Work stoppage at General Electric ends.

A 7-week work stoppage at General Electric Co.'s aircraft engine plant in Evendale, OH, ended when the company and the Auto Workers and Machinists unions agreed on contract provisions regarding job consolidations and subcontracting. The stoppage began when General Electric moved to implement a plan, announced in 1987, under which the 5,300 employees represented by the Auto Workers would have been assigned to 32 job classifications, down from 84, to help improve the plant's competitive position. Although the reclassification of duties was expected to result in wage increases for 36 percent of the workers, the Auto Workers contended that it would also result in the loss of 10 percent of the jobs in the bargaining unit. The settlement provided that the number of classifications will only be reduced to 40 and that there will be no resulting layoffs. Employees forced into lower rated jobs will retain their current pay rate for 2 years. The settlement does not prohibit layoffs resulting from declining sales.

The concurrent settlement for the 1,400 skilled trades employees represented by the Machinists centered on the union's contention that General Electric was sending an excessive amount of machining work to its nonunion plants and to subcontractors. Under the settlement, the parties established a joint committee to deal with the issue.

The settlement on the two issues came shortly before the start of national negotiations between General Electric and a Coordinated Bargaining Committee comprising a dozen unions. Announced union demands in the bargaining on contracts to succeed those scheduled to expire in July center on provisions to protect employees from layoffs, plant closings, and automation of operations. The same demands apply to Westinghouse Corp., where current contracts expire in August. A union official said that the unions represent 67,000 workers at the two companies, compared with 100,000 workers in 1966.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Jun 1, 1988
Previous Article:Brewery contract focuses on job security.
Next Article:New contract for Bloomingdale workers.

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