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(Updates with union’s comment in third paragraph.)
June 22 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co.’s tentative four-year labor agreements with its two largest unions offer pay gains of 12 percent and a new health-care plan that expands coverage.
The agreements between Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE, the IUE-CWA and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America would cover more than 15,000 employees. Both unions must vote on the proposals by June 30, GE said.
“The voices of our members, joined together in solidarity, were heard loud and clear by the company,” Bob Santamoor, chairman of IUE-CWA’s conference board, said in a joint statement with GE. The board recommended today that its members ratify the agreement.
The agreements offer wage increases of 2.25 percent in June 2012, 2.5 percent in June 2013 and 3 percent in June 2014, as well as eight cost-of-living adjustments, GE said. Health-care revisions expand coverage and financial protection and offer company-provided funds to help with expenses in two of three options, the company said.
Vacation time would rise to three weeks after an employee’s fifth anniversary from two and a half weeks now, said Susan Bishop, a company spokeswoman. Paid sick leave and personal time would increase as well.
The proposal “keeps the company competitive and positions us to win orders while helping to retain and create more manufacturing jobs in the U.S.,” GE Vice President John Loomis said in the statement.
GE is the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power- generation equipment, medical imaging machines and locomotives. Its total employees dropped 5.6 percent worldwide last year to 287,000 as the company shed some overseas businesses, including at its GE Capital division.
--With assistance from Rachel Layne in Paris and Steven Fromm in New York. Editors: Cecile Daurat, Niamh Ring
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