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ABOUT THE IUE-CWA LOCAL 301

Welcome to Our Union

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WHO WE ARE

The Local 301 is an IUE-CWA labor union chapter dedicated to protecting the rights of workers at GE Aerospace, GE Vernova, and Von Roll.  Lower healthcare costs, safer workplace regulations, and fair wages are just a few examples of what the IUE-CWA Local 301 continues to fight for.

Being a member of the Local 301 not only protects you, but it helps protect the millions of hard-working Americans also fighting for the protection of their livelihood.

Our country was built by the working class - let's protect them.

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IUE-CWA LOCAL 301 HISTORY

How We Began

Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works to Schenectady, New York, in 1886 after a strike in New York City. Edison, however, was not successful in avoiding strikes and neither was the General Electric Company, which was formed by a merger of the Edison Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Company. In 1904, for example, the 600 armature winders of the Schenectady General Electric Company held a 65-hour "folded arms" strike that was the first sit-down strike in the United States. The many craft unions at Schenectady General Electric called numerous strikes over the years leading to the organization of Local 301.

 

In 1926, the General Electric Company established a company union, the Works Council, at its Schenectady plant, and by the end of the 1920s all 36 of the craft unions previously representing workers at the plant had been eliminated. During the Great Depression, General Electric took more liberties than usual with the rights of its workers, and the Works Council was ineffectual in answering the demands of workers.

A small affiliate of the radical Trade Union Unity League formed in the Schenectady plant in 1932, and in the following year another small union was organized with many British socialists in its ranks. In 1934, these two unions merged into a single union of 300 members, and it was this union that was to become Local 301 in 1936.

After the Wagner Act was passed in 1935 to guarantee workers' rights to organize, the Schenectady General Electric plant changed the Works Council to the Workers Council and removed management from the council in order to make the council a de facto union under the law. After thousands of cards had been signed by the plant's workers, a National Labor Relations Board election was called between Local 301 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) and the General Electric's Workers Council. On December 15, 1936, UE Local 301 became the collective bargaining agent for the plant's workers, defeating the company union by a vote of 5,111 to 4,033.

Local 301 is currently known as IUE-CWA Local 301 as part of the Industrial Division of the Communication Workers of America, and represents workers of GE Aerospace, GE Vernova, and Von Roll.

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