GE Union begins formal negotiations in proposed plant closure - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

GE Union begins formal negotiations in proposed plant closure

Posted: Updated: Nov 12, 2013 3:27 PM

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. -- General Electric workers are taking steps to save their jobs at the Fort Edward plant.

The union is beginning formal negotiations Tuesday and is expected to continue all week, with hopes of reaching a deal by Sunday.

"We are reviewing and analyzing the Union's proposal to determine if it addresses the cost pressures facing the plant and the manufacturing synergies generated by the proposed transfer of work," said GE spokesperson Chris Horne.

Since September there have been ongoing meetings with company since GE announced its intent to move the plant's operations to Clearwater, Florida. Approximately 178 production and 20 salaried employees would be affected by the move.

The proposed closure is subject to a 60-day decision bargaining period with UE Local 332, during which the company will consider any alternative proposals presented by the union. The 60-day period will end on November 17th.According to GE officials, once the bargaining process is completed, they will fully review and consider all information and proposals provided and make a decision shortly thereafter.

"They asked us to be more particular about some of our proposals," said Peter Knowlton, The UE Northeast President, "What they meant and we had a discussion and they're going to consider it and get back to us tomorrow."

Knowlton told News10 ABC that GE expresses that they want to work with the union, "But what they say and what they do are often times two completely different things." However, he says they are still carefully optimistic.

Those who would be affected by the closing, and those from other GE plants out of state, came together to protest last month.

If an agreement is not met, closure of the facility would occur no sooner than one year from the date of announced intent -- September 19, 2014.

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