GE workers stage 2-day strike
In a harbinger of things to come at G.E. and throughout the economy and workforce nationwide, members of the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) struck over health insurance cost increases at General Electric facilities across the U.S. starting with the 11:00 pm shift last night (see WIT for Jan. 8, 2003). With health care costs skyrocketing, and employers increasingly trying to shift the burden of health insurance payments onto workers and pensioners in order to improve profit margins (see WIT for Nov. 18, 2002), many see health care battles dominating labor relations in the coming year. Not only have IUE-CWA leaders predicted that health care costs may be a strike issue for members at G.E. when their entire contract comes up for renegotiation in June, recent surveys by the AFL-CIO have shown health care costs as the most important issue to unionized workers nationwide.