“Don’t Split Us Up”: Unionized General Electric Workers Spend Valentine’s Day in the Streets With Actions Targeting Board Members
Boston, MA - General Electric workers across America took to the streets today to urge GE’s board members not to break apart the company in a new scheme that could create golden parachutes for CEO Larry Culp and other hedge fund connected executives. The actions follow Culp’s claims that no labor unrest would follow the announcement of the split, with the largest demonstration held at GE’s national headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.
“General Electric received $4 billion in public taxpayer funds last year, but instead of reinvesting in the critical energy and manufacturing infrastructure America needs, they’re letting the fox into the henhouse by catering to the interests of predatory corporate raiders in this split,” said Chris Depoalo, Business Agent of IUE-CWA Local 301. “A minority of GE board members have direct ties to private equity hedge funds that are set to reap a windfall if the company is split apart - we are urging the board members who still have independence from Trian Partners and other hedge funds to refuse to rush this decision through.”
Splitting GE into three separate entities could come with a price tag up to $2 billion. Three of GE’s board members have direct ties to private equity funds which could profit from the split, including Edward Garden, Chief Investment Officer and founding partner of Trian. In Boston, Cambridge, Philadelphia, and New York City, IUE-CWA members and allies demonstrated at workplace locations tied to board members CEO Larry Culp, Ash Carter, Risa Lavizzo-Moury, Francisco D’Souza, and James Tisch; passing out leaflets directly urging their immediate action in the split.
Workers demonstrating at GE’s headquarters in Boston ended their action with a delegation delivering a set of four unified national demands to the company. The demands:
- Invest at least $5 billion over the next 5 years and add 35,000 jobs to existing and recently shuttered U.S. facilities
- Reshore all U.S. military aviation production and 70% of GE industrial work offshored over the past 5 years
- Let shareholders vote on the proposed breakup of GE and add elected worker representatives to the GE Board of Directors
- Convert historic GE facilities into multi-modal brilliant factories with supplier parks to minimize supply chain disruptions, building an American offshore wind supply chain on our shores.