IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew Appeals to GE Board in Open Letter
Workers demand GE stop sending jobs overseas, bring ventilator work to underutilized U.S. facilities
NATIONWIDE - On Tuesday, May 5, 2020 members of the Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) will hold protests, standing six feet apart, at General Electric (GE) facilities in seven states -- Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Minnesota holding signs that read “Stand Up for Dallas,” “We Can Make Ventilators,” and “GE: Keep Us Safe.” GE recently announced their intent to permanently close their Dallas facility, which will leave over 40 workers jobless.
They will also appeal directly to President Trump with banners outside of Trump owned golf courses and hotels reading “President Trump, Tell GE: Protect Workers! Stop Shipping Our Jobs Overseas! Protect America! We can Make More Ventilators!” in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, and in the Hudson Valley.
IUE-CWA is the largest union within GE and has been representing GE workers since the late 1940’s.
The protests come as GE holds its first virtual shareholder meeting, and President Trump visits a Honeywell aerospace factory in Arizona that has been converted to N95 masks. IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew sent a letter to President Trump last month outlining the underutilized capacity in GE’s aviation, electrical systems, power grid, and lighting division facilities that could be converted to ventilator production. In an open letter to the GE Board of Directors released today, Kennebrew reiterates the potential for ventilator production and provides a list of some of the thousands of jobs that GE has shipped overseas over the past two decades.
Reports surfaced last week that New York State had awarded a $69.1 million contract to an electrical engineer after he claimed he could produce ventilators in a reply to one of President Trump’s tweets. The ventilators, which were priced at three-times the normal price of high-end ventilators, were never delivered. A New York State official said that they entered into the contract because the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force had recommended him.
“Just as workers at Honeywell stepped up to provide N95 masks to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are ready to make ventilators,” said IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew. “ Our members are ready to step up with an answer to our country’s ventilator production needs. The answer is right here at GE. We’re asking President Trump and GE’s Board to tell management to stop shipping our jobs overseas and to build more ventilators for sale here and throughout the world by bringing this work to unused space in existing U.S. GE facilities.”
WHO: IUE-CWA members
WHAT: GE Day of Action - Worker Protests Across the Country
WHEN + WHERE: Tuesday, May 5, 2020
GE Headquarters - Boston
- Dallas, TX - IUE-CWA Local 86788
- Madisonville, KY IUE-CWA Local 83701
- Bucyrus, OH IUE-CWA Local 84704
- Cleveland, OH IUE-CWA Local 84707
- Schenectedy, NY IUE-CWA Local 81303
- Lynn, MA IUE-CWA Local 81201
- Salem, VA IUE-CWA Local 82161
- Minneapolis, MN IUE-CWA Local 87140
- Trump Hotel, Chicago, IL
- Trump Golf Course, Hudson Valley, NY
- Trump Golf Course, Los Angeles, CA
- Trump Golf Course, Miami, FL
- Mar-a-Lago Golf Club, Palm Beach, FL
Photos of the actions will be made available to the press.