Results of GE contract voting expected Wednesday


by Kelsey Starks

Posted on June 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 28 at 6:37 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - WHAS11 News is told that the union is not expected to announce the results of GE employee contract voting until Wednesday.

About 2,000 GE employees filed in and out of the union hall on Poplar Level Road Tuesday to cast their vote on a new contract.  It’s a deal the company and the union president say is a good one, but many of the workers say they voted no.


“We keep hearing, ‘it’s a good contract, it’s a good contract,’ but no it’s not a good contract!” says Diana Moore, who has worked at GE for 18 years.  “They’re dipping into our benefits!”


It all comes down to benefits for many employees at GE’s Appliance Park.


“People go to these big companies because of the benefits,” says Moore.  “That’s what we want.  We don’t care about raises.  We want our insurance and we want it affordable.  They’re not giving us that.”


The company is offering workers a wage increase of 13 to 16 percent over the 4-year contract, a bonus of up to $5,000 and extra vacation and personal days. 


“Keep your $5,000 and leave my insurance alone,” said a man known by workers only as “Catfish.”  He’s worked at the plant for 20 years.  “I don’t have that kind of money to take out of my pocket!”


John Burton has worked at GE for 17 years and he agrees.


“They are going to give us a bonus, but after you look at it, you’re going to have to pay taxes on that,” says Burton.  “Then when the taxes are taken out, you better hold on to that bonus because we don’t know how much healthcare cost is going to go up.”


Union president Jerry Carney says it's a good deal when faced with some of the alternatives.


“Overall if you look at it, it's a fair contract,” says Carney.  “We took increases in the healthcare but everyone has took increases in the healthcare.  We're in a very competitive industry in appliances; I’ve seen factory after factory close down.”


Click here for more information on the Union contract proposal.