Internal report confirms 7 states with healthcare cuts for GE workers’ families
Pregnant wife of one GE worker lost healthcare weeks before miscarriage, hit with $12,000 medical bill
DAYTON, OH – Today, IUE-CWA, a leading national union for General Electric (GE) workers, announced that it recently filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against GE for unilaterally cutting off healthcare for GE workers’ spouses and dependents. According to IUE-CWA, and workers interviewed, the Company has traditionally rolled-over dependents year after year. In 2021 GE carried out a botched healthcare coverage audit. As part of its Bring It Home GE campaign, the union is calling on GE to restore healthcare for all eligible dependents and cover the cost of medical bills resulting from cuts. The union is concerned GE family healthcare cuts may be impacting even more workers’ dependents. Nationwide, GE employs 55,000 U.S. workers at more than 70 manufacturing sites.

GE announced $3 billion in stock buybacks just weeks after workers discovered the healthcare cuts. This comes after GE confirmed it will spend $2 billion to split up the company, a move applauded by Trian hedge fund. GE and GE Lighting have also announced job cuts and plant closures impacting nearly 300 workers in Ohio and Massachusetts.
IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew: “GE workers’ families have been needlessly cut off from their healthcare, and the consequences are dire. Instead of putting workers first, GE is spending billions of dollars on stock buybacks for Wall Street while carving up the company to sell for parts, no matter the cost to workers and families. GE must immediately restore healthcare for eligible dependents of all employees and cover the cost of the medical bills racked up from the company’s reckless actions.”
Dalton Bocknick, Massachusetts GE Lynn Facility Worker: “My wife was pregnant in her second trimester when the doctor told us there was internal bleeding. Our fear quickly turned to anger when we received the bill and discovered that GE had cut off health coverage for my wife. The healthcare company said the internal bleeding qualified as a potentially life-threatening event and would justify GE allowing her to re-enroll in my health plan. But GE refused to reinstate health coverage. My wife had to go into emergency early labor in February and suffered a miscarriage. As if that tragedy wasn’t enough, we were also left with $12,000 in medical bills. This is just wrong. GE workers and our families deserve better.”
Jesús Beltran, New York GE Schenectady Facility Worker: “I was diagnosed with M.S. last year and now I worry about whether my daughter might have it. I was planning to take her to see the doctor so that she could get tested to see if she has any of the same symptoms so we could catch it early. Now that GE kicked her off my health plan, there’s no way we can afford to take her to the doctor. Medication for my M.S. costs $14,000 per month. If GE is willing to rip healthcare away from my family, who’s to say they won’t try to cut my health coverage next? For the company to do this to me and my family, it feels like a betrayal after all the hard work I have put in. It’s just not right.”
Dalton Thavisay, Kansas GE Arkansas City Facility Worker: “My job at GE has covered healthcare for my family for nearly six years, helping me provide for my wife and our four kids. Our health coverage made it possible for us to afford braces for my 13-year-old son, but in January I was shocked to learn GE cut him off from my plan and we would now have to pay the full $4,500 for his braces. My wife has asthma and I’m also worried about paying for her inhalers. I can’t believe GE did this. GE shouldn’t make its workers go broke trying to pay for their family’s healthcare on their own.”
In March 2022, in response to an IUE-CWA request for information, GE disclosed that at least 106 dependents of 71 GE employees have seen their GE healthcare coverage terminated. This includes 58 children and 48 spouses of GE employees at manufacturing plants represented by the Union in Massachusetts (Lynn); Kansas (Strothers); New York (Schenectady and Niskayuna); Kentucky (Madisonville); as well as GE facilities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas.
In February 2022, workers demonstrated at GE national HQ in Boston, protesting GE’s $2 billion plan to break up the company and cut critical American manufacturing jobs. As part of the Bring It Home GE campaign, the GE workers recently announced the following demands:
  1. Invest at least $5 billion over the next 5 years and add 35,000 jobs to existing and recently shuttered U.S. facilities

  2. Reshore all U.S. military aviation production and 70% of GE industrial work offshored over the past 5 years

  3. Let shareholders vote on the proposed breakup of GE and add elected worker representatives to the GE Board of Directors

  4. Convert historic GE facilities into multi-modal brilliant factories with supplier parks to minimize supply chain disruption, building American offshore wind supply chain in U.S.
A recent study conducted by UMass Boston’s Labor Resource Center and Cornell University’s ILR School found that “GE has outsourced, offset, and transferred products around the world and cut production personnel by 90% in Schenectady and Lynn [MA] since the 1980s”. The study also finds that despite receiving government subsidies from virtually all levels of government, GE has not modernized the plants even though it continues to employ a consistent workforce located in prime locations for US manufacturing to thrive in.
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