In the U.S., GE is party to a four-year national agreement with each of its two largest unions, the IUE-CWA and the UE (which together currently represent 9,450 employees). The larger of the two unions, the IUE-CWA, represents approximately 4,900 GE employees at 22 Company locations, while the UE represents approximately 1,500 employees at four locations.1
Certain terms of these two contracts were also extended to, and approved by, nine other U.S. unions representing smaller groups of GE employees. These other unions are members of the AFL-CIO Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC), which has local contracts with GE, and represent an additional 2,900 employees. The IUE and UE national agreements, and a majority of the other local CBC contracts, expire on June 23, 2019. Other GE affiliates are parties to non-CBC labor contracts with various labor unions, covering approximately 1,500 employees,2 that have varying expiration dates.
GE’s relationship with employee-representative organizations outside the U.S. takes many forms, especially in the EU. Information exchange and consultation occur through works councils, trade unions and employee-representative bodies at various levels of the business organizations. Formal trade union representation exists at many GE locations in the EU, while in others, notwithstanding the union membership of some employees, alternative employee-representative structures have been established. These include formal representative bodies, at the business, national, sector or site level, with which GE is legally obliged to engage in a range of circumstances, as well as health & safety committees in some countries. We estimate that our employees are represented by approximately 250 representative bodies throughout the EU. For pan-European issues, we currently have four European Works Councils (EWCs), each aligned with specific business divisions. Together, the EWCs cover approximately 35% of our European workforce. In addition, we have temporarily put in place a similar voluntary arrangement to represent employees of the recently acquired Alstom energy business. We are roughly two years into a maximum three-year negotiation process related to the creation of a new single EWC structure that will provide European-level representation to all GE employees outside of the Capital business and will ultimately supersede the existing arrangements at that level.
In China, 39 GE legal entities (including 13 legacy Alstom entities) have unions representing nearly 20,000 employees (Alstom, 4,695 employees), all affiliated with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, including GE China’s headquarters in Shanghai. Collective bargaining agreements are being negotiated at each of these locations.
1 U.S. data as of December 2016.
2 As of Q1 2017.