Workers at Madisonville plant part of national campaign

Local

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) Workers at a Madisonville plant are part of a national union’s campaign to keep union jobs in the commonwealth.

Members of the International Union of Electric Workers and Communication Workers of America are urging G.E. to reinvest in American manufacturing.

The campaign is called “Bring It Home, G.E.”

“I hope that people get something out of this,” says James Hamby, President of IUE-CWA Local 83701. He and Jeff Rodgers, who have a total of nearly 50 years working there, are two of several G.E. Aviation Madisonville plant workers in the ad.

“We take pride in what we do, everyday in what we’re doing,” Hamby says.

The campaign claims the company isn’t reinvesting in the Madisonville plant as much as it could. The plant makes parts for military aircrafts. The union also says G.E. is offshoring work to other plants in other countries, and is cutting down on the number of union workers.

“When I first started 17 years ago, we were 800 people. We’re down below 400 now. It’s a very big concern,” says Hamby.

“These younger workers are coming in for half the money, they don’t have a guaranteed pension,” Rodgers adds. “I’m not worried about me, but I’m worried about the younger people that still got families.”

The campaign also starts about two years before the union’s contract with G.E. expires. Rodgers hopes it gets the company to invest more in the plant and its workers.

“I look at it as a positive effect on the political end and put pressure on G.E. to do the right thing and instead of looking at money,” he says.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, a spokesperson for G.E. said:

“Our employees at GE Aviation Madisonville play a critical role manufacturing aircraft engine components for our military  and industrial customers. We invested more than $6 million at the site this year alone and are working hard to ensure a strong future in an increasingly competitive global environment, one that requires meeting our customer commitments to deliver high-quality products on time.”

(This story was originally published on November 1, 2021)

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