Tentative Union Agreement Would Boost Pay for Mass. GE Aviation Workers Hit Hard by Inflation

The nation’s largest union for General Electric workers announced that workers at the company’s Lynn factory have secured a new tentative agreement to increase pay and stop management from delaying raises for 540 workers hired since 2016. As a national wave of union worker campaigns spreads to Fortune 500 companies across the country, today’s GE union worker deal follows similar examples of union campaigns at Starbucks and Apple successfully pushing companies to also increase pay and benefits for non-union employees.

IUE-CWA Local 201, representing workers at the Lynn plant, announced today that it secured a new tentative agreement to reform a wage progression system implemented by the company in 2016. The system – which the Union has been chipping away at since 2019 – could have forced workers to wait 10 or more years before being eligible for the top pay rate at the facility, regardless of skills or productivity.

The deal is a massive win for workers, making them eligible for the top pay raise after 6 years, 40-60% sooner than the 2016 system, along with immediate increases in pay for workers on the progression. In 2019, the Union reached a 7-year progression, and if today’s new tentative agreement is approved, no worker at the GE Lynn plant will have ever had to work over 6 years to reach the top pay rate.

The IUE-CWA deal additionally guarantees that Lynn’s GE Aviation union workers will now have a say in the process for setting the wage cap, known as the “top of market rate.” Previously, GE hired an outside consultant to calculate the top pay rate for the factory, but refused to disclose the details of that process to workers.

The organizing effort leading up to the union deal is also paying off for non-union GE workers at at least two additional factories in Hooksett, New Hampshire and Rutland, Vermont where they are also now eligible for the top pay rate in six years instead of 7-15 years.

The agreement comes at a critical time for Lynn workers, as Massachusetts families struggle with inflation that wages haven’t kept up with and back-to-school shopping costs hit many working parents in Boston and across New England.

For GE workers, the uncertainty brought by rising prices has been made worse by the uncertainty they face around GE’s $2.5 billion plan to break up the company.

GE Aviation Lynn worker Chris Moody: “This agreement is big for me. I’ll get a raise right away and more down the line. Most of us are living paycheck to paycheck on strict budgets. I take a lot of pride in the work I do at the GE Aviation plant In Lynn, as we all do. With this new deal secured through our union, we are helping workers in Lynn and across the country speed up the pay raises they need and deserve.”

IUE-CWA Local 201 Business Agent Justin Richards: “This is an important win for GE Aviation union workers in Lynn. As we face inflation and higher prices at the grocery store and gas pump, it’s more important than ever for giant companies like General Electric to increase pay and invest in its employees. Standing together, IUE-CWA union workers secured a new tentative agreement that will help workers earn pay raises faster as they work to provide for their families. Our struggle over the past few years also pushed GE to provide the pay raise timeline for workers at at least two additional GE factories across the country, a clear example of how IUE-CWA is working to deliver for all GE workers.”

IUE-CWA Local 201 President Adam Kaszynski: “As we prepare to negotiate our national union contract for GE workers across the country, this sends a powerful message to the company that we can organize effectively against stagnating wages and keep good jobs in our community. We are not stopping here, the goal is a fair National Contract that puts money where it belongs, in workers’ pockets, and brings taxpayer-funded work back where it belongs in our domestic U.S. manufacturing facilities”.

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