The Lynn Daily Item: GE Contract Will Create New Jobs in LynnBy: Gayla Cawley
LYNN — GE Aviation and its labor union struck an agreement on Tuesday that will lead to more hiring at the plant.
“It was a tough negotiation, but in the end we came to an agreement that protects the current members, benefits the community and ensures that GE will be here in the future,” said Peter Capano, city councilor and president of IUE-CWA Local 201.
Capano said the agreed upon market-base wage agreement will impact all new employees, but has no effect on current workers. Wages for new hires start off lower than what new employees were making with the previous contract, but higher than the local job market, he said. The contract is designed to give new hires wage hikes every year for 10 years, when they would reach the top of the position’s salary rate, he added.
The agreement, which kicked in on Thursday, also guarantees 52 new GE hires. Every time a person retires, the contract guarantees that person will be replaced with a new employee. A voluntary incentive program is also provided for people at age 60, Capano said. He said the union was looking for a new engine line, the GE38, which the contract supports.
The agreement assures the assembly and test of that engine will be done in Lynn when the program progresses to the full production mode, according to a GE Aviation spokesperson. Full production mode will begin in 2017, Capano said.
“We are pleased that IUE-CWA Local 201 membership voted to accept the market-based wage agreement,” said Will Danzinger, GE-Lynn area executive and general manager, in a statement. “This successful ratification is a significant step forward for our site and improves our ability to compete for work and to build a strong future for our plant. Perhaps most important is that this agreement proves that when we work together, we can redefine the opportunities and potential for GE Aviation in Lynn.”
The agreement positions GE for the future, in exchange for changes to their wage structure for future employees, according to U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s office.
“This agreement is further evidence that GE Lynn is positioning itself to to be both a job creator for our region and a leader within the field of engineering,” said Moulton in a statement. “I commend management and labor for coming together to find a solution that positions GE Lynn to be competitive nationwide, while at the same time growing jobs right here in Lynn. This kind of collaboration advances a long-term vision that centers on advanced opportunities for employees and economic development in our region.”