UE retirees have years of experience in the workplace and in our union, and are valuable allies in the fight against corporate greed.
The Retirees Association of General Electric (RAGE) from Locals 506 and 618 is very active in Erie, Pennsylvania. Hundreds of RAGE members provided important support during GE contract negotiations in June 2015. Their involvement helped UE negotiators gain an increase in the pension for current retirees and beat back company proposals to eliminate company contributions toward post-65 healthcare.
RAGE members attend GE stockholder meetings, push for pension improvements, and meet annually with the company to discuss retiree issues including insurance plan administration and retiree benefit problems. They have also led protests against the privatization of Social Security, gas rate hikes, and other social issues.
Retirees from former Local 1111 in Wisconsin meet monthly, have regular social events and contribute to the social struggles in their area. They are currently supporting the campaign of Randy Bryce, a union ironworker who is attempting to unseat House Majority Leader Paul Ryan in 2018.
Retirees from former Local 924 in Decatur, Indiana also have an active retiree committee.
Years of unionism has shown us that there is strength in numbers, so joining with other retiree groups make us even more effective.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THIS 75th UE CONVENTION:
- Calls on the union to encourage the formation of, and participation in, retiree committees; support the Alliance for Retired Americans, its local affiliates, and other retiree groups; and continue to bargain to improve the benefits for retirees;
- Calls on all retired members to defend and improve Social Security and Medicare, promote passage of single payer Medicare-for-All health insurance, vigorously defend company-paid health benefits for retirees, and lend support to the contract struggles and other work of locals.