PHILADELPHIA – Families, members of the community, and Communications Workers of America-International Union of Electrical Workers members from western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Mississippi, Indiana, and Massachusetts rallied Nov. 17 in support of their brothers and sisters from General Electric’s Philadelphia plant. The rally, held in Elmwood Park in Southwest Philadelphia, was to stop the closing of the plant.

GE, which once employed 8,000 Philadelphians, now employs 200 after sending well-paying, union jobs overseas. The plant was the site of one of the most militant strikes this city has ever seen when GE was struck nationwide in 1946.

Those at the rally carried signs saying, “It takes GE to spell greed,” and “General Electric brings good things to an end.” Among the speakers was Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.), who said that most people wouldn’t mind having to make ends meet on $14 million, citing the $14 million in profit the workers at the Philadelphia created for GE last year.

In spite of a $400 million insurance loss as a result of Sept. 11, third-quarter earnings equaled $3.281 billion.

Those at the rally lined up to sign over-sized postcards addressed to GE Chairman Jeffrey Imeltt. The postcards expressed outrage at the plan to close the plant. In September, Imeltt succeeded former Chairman John F. Welch, who is infamous for having said that, “the ideal situation would be if you could have all your plants on a barge” so they could move them constantly to keep wages low and environmental standards lower.