On Wednesday, union workers at General Electric’s Appliance Park plant will vote on a wage freeze.
In exchange for the freeze on 2100 workers’ salaries, GE says it will hire 100 new workers and keep all product manufacturing in Louisville until June 2011, when the workers’ contracts expire.
Union leaders have declined to comment publicly, but GE spokesperson Kim Freeman says the promises of new workers and job security can’t be made without the wage freeze.
“Considering that we lost $72 million last year, it just wouldn’t make good business sense for us to invest in new a product or bring additional employees into Appliance Park because our cost structure is just too high,” she says.
Freeman says union members seem receptive to the idea. The plant’s 2000 salaried workers have been under a pay rate freeze since 2008.