Washington, DC — A national coalition of labor, environmental, trade and veterans groups launched a nationwide campaign this week calling on manufacturing giant General Electric to heed the Biden administration’s call to “Build Back Better” by reinvesting in domestic manufacturing jobs in green energy, military, and commercial aviation. General Electric is one of the largest vendors to the U.S. government, receiving billions of dollars of taxpayer funding a yeardespite decades of rampant outsourcing.
Advocates backing the campaign say that General Electric, once an iconic leader in domestic manufacturing, stands at a crossroads: continue its 40-year track record of disinvesting, de-unionizing, and offshoring its US manufacturing operations, or to recommit to investing in US manufacturing, including by investing in jobs domestically.
The coalition is led by IUE-CWA, the Manufacturing Division of the Communications Workers of America. Among the coalition partners are Greenpeace; Sierra Club; Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch; AFL-CIO; and veterans group Common Defense.
In a trio of powerful videos, GE factory workers call on GE to reinvent itself by betting big on American workers. Those messages, now airing across the country, highlight the impacts of GE’s offshoring of defense contracted work, and the environmental impacts of GE’s expanding global supply chain.
Along with the national advertising launch, GE and GE Lighting workers at five locations throughout the country will be joining together for a "Bring It Home GE" day of action today. Workers will be wearing "Bring It Home GE" stickers, calling on the company to stop offshoring, and to invest and to increase jobs at their manufacturing facilities. Locations for those actions include Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Kentucky, and KS.
GE workers are highly skilled and are ready to build for the next generation of domestic manufacturing, including renewable energy products for the offshore wind supply chain and the next generation of military and commercial aviation products.
"A generation of workers in the United States has been betrayed by the relentless outsourcing and offshoring of what once were family-supporting, middle class jobs," said Communications Workers of America president Chris Shelton. “GE is an iconic American company. It has dozens of manufacturing facilities with excess capacity that can be put to use rebuilding our communities and our country."
Carl Kennebrew, President of IUE-CWA stated, “GE has the chance to once again be a leader in American manufacturing - by bringing jobs back to American factories. We are calling on GE to do the right thing, and invest in the American factories that fueled their past success. Our workers are highly trained, and stand ready to be a part of the future of American manufacturing - we hope GE will seize this opportunity.”
Backers of the coalition say that GE’s sprawling supply chains lead to degradation of the environment. By harnessing the promise of renewable energy to create infrastructure jobs in America, particularly through the use of wind turbines, GE can power a future of fair, green domestic labor.
Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA offered this comment in support of the campaign, “For the global response to the climate crisis to succeed on the scale that science demands, governments and companies like GE have a responsibility to make rapid and bold investments in climate action that will accelerate the energy transition in a just way. GE should seize the opportunity to develop an offshore wind manufacturing supply chain here in the United States that could create thousands of good-paying union jobs, protect the planet, and protect workers and communities at the same time.”
Taking GE to task on offshoring, Brigadier General John Adams calls on GE to “bring the jobs back to America” citing the House Armed Services Committee’s Future of Defense Task Force 2020 report which concluded, “a lack of domestic manufacturing capability and access to reliable supply chains is among our greatest national security and economic vulnerabilities.”
Congressman Seth Moulton added, “Since 2015, I have secured more than $1 billion in American tax dollars for next-generation helicopter engines and parts built in Lynn. America has invested in GE, and it's time for GE to invest in America.”
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As the Industrial Division of CWA, IUE-CWA represents a force of 150,000 active and retired men and women united collectively to seek dignity on the job and a secure future for ourselves, our children and all future generations.