GE Appliances workers to vote on labor contract Friday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

GE Appliances workers to vote on labor contract Friday

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Members of IUE-CWA Local 761, led by president Dana Crittendon, rallied ahead of previous contract negotiations in May 2015. Members of IUE-CWA Local 761, led by president Dana Crittendon, rallied ahead of previous contract negotiations in May 2015.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- About 3,800 rank-and-file workers at Louisville's Appliance Park will vote on Friday whether to ratify a proposed labor contract with GE Appliances.

Dana Crittendon, president of the union representing the workers, said Monday that he wanted to push the vote off until next week so members could have more time to understand the proposal.

But company officials need a vote this week to be able to process a $2,500 ratification payment that each member would get on Jan. 27 if the contract is approved, Crittendon said. 

The deal is similar to the contract that workers rejected by a nearly 3-1 margin in November except with a handful of changes that union negotiators hope will appeal to workers.

As WDRB reported Monday, most of the park's workers -- those in the "competitive wage" pay tiers with base rates of $15.51 and $17.69 per hour -- would get raises of 30 cents an hour in 2018 and 2019 under the latest deal. The original deal instead offered bonuses of $1,500 each year but no increase in hourly pay.

Chris Averitte, who has worked at Appliance Park since 2007, said he's not impressed by the cumulative 60-cent-per-hour raise, which "isn't anything."

But Averitte said he hasn't decided how he will vote on the contract.

"I think we might have to take it to avoid a strike," Averitte said in a message to WDRB News on Wednesday. "A lot of people really can't afford a strike."

RELATED: GE Appliances, union reach tentative deal on labor contract

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