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GE hires 200 as helicopters take off

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN GE Aviation is hiring.

Two months after a local union hammered out an agreement with management to replace retirees with new hires, the city’s largest private employer has advertised for help.

“GE hasn’t hired like this in a long time,” said City Councilor Peter Capano, who is also the IUE-CWA Local 201 union president. “They are doing a significant amount of hiring and making a commitment to Lynn. We just want to keep this ball rolling and make sure GE’s future in the city is secure.”

In a weekend advertisement in The Item, GE is seeking warehouse workers, machinists and manufacturing associates.

The deal struck last summer between management and the union guaranteed 52 new hires. In addition, when an employee retires, the contract says that person will be replaced with a new worker. As many as 200 hires are expected to be added through next spring. GE offers an early retirement program for people age 60 with 10 years experience.

Richard Gorham, a GE spokesman, said most of the hires will manufacture and support the engine lines at the plant that include the F414, T700, CF34 and the company’s largest turboshaft engine, the GE38, used by the U.S. Marine Corps’ so-called heavy-lift helicopter.

“We are hoping to generate lots of good candidates,” he said.

This represents the first wave of hourly employee hiring that GE has done in several years. The new workers will start at a wage at or above the market rate for comparable jobs. Machinists will start at $23.50 per hour, down from $32 per hour for previous hires. But the contract provides new employees wage hikes annually for 10 years, when they would reach the top of the position’s salary rate.

“It’s certainly positive that we’re in a position to hire a good number of new production and manufacturing employees,” Gorham said in an email.

Last summer, GE shared more good news when the U.S. Army awarded them a $102 million contract to design its GE3000 engine to retool nearly 3,000 Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. The federal investment is expected to support more than 100 engineers, primarily at GE in Lynn.


Thomas Grillo can be reached at [email protected].

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