GE Power Systems to Cut 1,000 Jobs
Jul. 23, 2002
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) _ GE Power Systems will eliminate 1,000 jobs in the next nine months from its turbine production facility here, leaving about 4,100 workers.
The Atlanta-based company will cut another 1,000 jobs from its Greenville, S.C., plant. Further reductions will come in 2003, due to a reduction in demand for power generation equipment.
``I'd like to turn around and scream, 'It's GE's fault.' But we can't say that today,'' said Carmen DePoalo with Local 301 of the International Union of Electrical Radio and Machine Workers on Tuesday. ``We're caught in the humbug of everything happening in the economic world. If you don't have the work, you can't keep employees just to keep them here.''
The company plans to lay off 250 of Schenectady's hourly workers by the end of this year. The remaining job cuts will include 400 salary employees, DePoalo said.
``We have always made it clear that, after several years of exceptional growth, our turbine business would at some point return to more normal order levels, and it is,'' said John Rice, company president and chief executive.
Employees 55 years or older, with at least 25 years of service, can take early retirement packages, DePoalo said.
The company said shipments of gas turbines are forecast to decline by 80 percent or more over the next two years. As part of its restructuring, Power Systems plans to move its Pensacola., Fla., operation to Schenectady.
That lessened the layoffs in New York, DePoalo said.
Last year, GE Power Systems moved its headquarters from Schenectady to Atlanta, taking about 50 high-level executives south, then added about 200 production jobs.
The company had employed nearly 40,000 in Schenectady during World War II.
GE Power Systems, which employs 36,500 worldwide, is a leading supplier of power generation technology, energy services and management systems with 2001 revenues of more than $20 billion.
On the Net:
GE Power Systems, http://www.gepower.com