May 1, 2014
IUE-CWA members from four states protest at the GE annual meeting in Chicago.
Below: NABET-CWA members tell GE to keep its promise to retirees: From left: Debra Slimko, sec.-treas., CWA Local 4250; Liz VanDerWoude, president, CWA Local 4250; President Emeritus Ray W. Taylor, NABET-CWA Local 54041, and Sylvia Chapman, vice president, CWA Local 4250.
CWAers from across our union joined a demonstration outside General Electric's annual shareholder meeting in Chicago last week.
More than 80 IUE-CWA GE retirees from Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York traveled to Chicago to press for retirement security, including health care protections for retirees and the addition of pension cost-of-living adjustments.
Joining them were active and retired NABET-CWA and CWA Local 4250 activists, who were protesting changes to retiree health care coverage announced by the company that affect NABET-CWA members who retired from GE while that company owned NBC.
Inside the meeting, NABET-CWA Retiree Coordinator and RMC Media Sector President Bill Freeda challenged GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Emmelt and the company's board of directors to fulfill the promise it made to workers on retiree health security.
GE's decision to terminate post-age-65 retirement health care benefits as of next January for anyone not yet 65 years old as of that date, "will have a devastating effect on the quality of life of so many thousands of our GE family members," Freeda said.
He challenged members of the board to "have the courage to reverse the policy."