General Electric has agreed to relatively generous terms in a tentative new contract with its two primary unions. The deal, which contains none of the onetime payments that GE's 65,000 union workers complained about in the 1980s, provides for pay hikes totaling 8% over three years. The raises, coupled with improved cost-of-living adjustments, mean that union workers will likely earn $15.13 an hour by 1994, up 13.5% from today's average of $13.33. GE also sweetened job-security and retirement clauses.
Employees, however, will have to pick up a larger share of medical costs. The benefit changes apply to all 200,000 people in GE's U. S. work force, including nonunion white-collar employees. Union members will vote on the proposed settlement on July 10.