Perhaps Shiny will find this especially interesting: While not particularly relevant to Schenectady, the aging Upstate NY industrial city is about to be the host of yet another labor dispute in its long and glorious history with General Electric. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/08/national/08STRI.html">The New York Times</a> and the <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2634457.stm">BBC</a> both report that GE's unions are about to strike for the first time in over 30 years. Edward L. Fire, president of the main union, the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America, said that his union was "taking on the fight for affordable health care for all G.E. workers, including unrepresented workers." "G.E. has provoked a strike through its greed," Mr. Fire said. The union is attacking one of the most profitable companies, saying it does not share enough of its earnings with its work force. Union officials said G.E., with profits of $14.1 billion in 2001, could easily afford to maintain health benefits without forcing its workers and retirees to pay more. However, company officials respond that even at the union's estimate of $400 per employee in increased out-of-pocket costs, the company is eating most of the increased cost of healthcare. A spokesman for GE said that the average healthcare cost per employee was estimated to be $2,350 higher than in 1999, when the current contract was negotiated. With healthcare costs spiraling out of control, and unions not wielding the power they once did, is this a signal that major national unions are getting ready to mount an offensive to reclaim some of the ground that the working class has lost over the years? Or is this just a union's last gasp to try to call attention to itself?