GE union highlights Lynn’s jet engine plant in ad campaign to fight job offshoring


A union that represents more than 3,500 General Electric workers has launched a new advertising campaign aimed at persuading the Boston-based conglomerate to increase its investment in US factories rather than overseas operations.

UIE-CWA, an arm of the Communications Workers of America that focuses on manufacturing, on Monday announced the campaign to highlight the importance of GE factories to their communities, as part of the union’s “Bring it Home” campaign. , GE ”. One of the ads is the Lynn Jet Engine Plant, where GE employs nearly 2,450 people, including 1,175 members of the UIE-CWA. The ads have been running since late September in Washington, DC, Greater Boston and several other media markets where the GE and GE Lighting factories are located. The union marches ads featuring Lynn in the Boston market, notably on Fox and MSNBC.

In Lynn’s case, the announcements come at a time when GE management is underscoring its commitment to the aircraft factory. Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp explained on a quarterly earnings conference call last week how he traveled to the Lynn plant earlier in October with John Slattery, GE’s aviation business chief, to overseeing work which they hope will speed up delivery times. Also last week, GE said it had committed an additional $ 4.4 million to workforce training efforts on the North Shore.

Adam Kaszynski, president of UIE-CWA Local 201, said the union welcomes GE’s attention to Lynn, but it’s just not enough. Kaszynski said GE shipped components on a military helicopter contract to Romania in the spring, which he said could explain why its local membership has declined by around 25 over the past year. He said his local had about 1,800 members ten years ago.

“What we’ve seen is that instead of layoffs, they allow jobs to disappear through attrition,” Kaszynski said. “They would rather build factories in other places. . . We did whatever it took to cooperate in this work, and they keep bleeding us.

The ads feature images of downtown Lynn, its coastline and parks, a mural of the town’s industrial heritage, and, of course, the huge factory itself and several workers there. Kaszynski said the reviews have been positive so far.

“People care about having these good union jobs,” he said.

The TV blitz follows a one-page advertisement in the Boston Globe in April published by a community group supported by the UIE-CWA, accusing GE of moving jobs overseas to the detriment of the Lynn and Schenectady factories , NY. This ad was scheduled to be shown in advance. of GE’s annual meeting in May.

GE officials counter that they have long viewed the Lynn plant as a vital part of its manufacturing operations. The plant was largely isolated from dramatic job cuts in GE’s aviation division last year during the drop in air travel caused by the pandemic. This is because the factory mainly focuses on fulfilling military contracts rather than commercial ones. GE plans to invest $ 36 million in the plant this year.

A spokesperson for the company said, “GE Aviation is one of the state’s largest manufacturing and engineering companies with nearly 2,450 employees. We have hired approximately 500 manufacturing employees at the Lynn site since 2017 and are currently looking for talent for manufacturing positions.

Jon Chesto can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jonchesto.

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