GE has sent us their holding statement and a Message that was sent from GE's President and CEO Jamie Miller to its employees.
The holding statement explains that the cuts are due to a drop in volume (-10%) and that "locomotive orders for all manufacturers in the US have declined." They explained that the orders now come globally.
"Given these market realities and the need for cost competitiveness across our global markets, GE Transportation announced its intent to transfer production of locomotives and kits for international customers to the GE Manufacturing Solutions facility in Forth Worth, TX from Erie, PA. The move is necessary to drive efficiency, better complete in the increasingly competitive global raid market, and preserve US jobs."
"Transferring work is always a tough decision, especially in a community like Erie where we have operated for over 100 years and will continue to have deep roots, but necessary given today's challenged market. If we move forward with this proposed transformation, Erie would remain our largest location with approximately 2,000 hourly and salaried employees. These proposed actions are subject to a 60 day decision bargaining period, if requested by the Union."
Jamie Miller, CEO, wrote to his employees telling them:
Over the past few years, GE Transportation has been on a journey positioning the business and our operations around the world to become more competitive in the markets we serve. Given the continued challenging environment, we are taking a bold and difficult step to secure a long-term, sustainable future.
Solutions facility in Fort Worth, Texas. While relocating jobs is always a tough decision, it is necessary to reduce cost and become more competitive in today's global freight locomotive market. This proposed transfer of work is subject to decision bargaining with the UE.
Should the decision be to move forward after decision bargaining, our intent is to transform our Erie campus to focus on design, engineering, prototype development, and components production. Erie has been a part of GE for more than 100 years, continually evolving to meet market challenges. In fact, even following this proposed transformation, Erie would remain our largest location with approximately 2,000 hourly and salaried employees. The site will be a critical part of GE Transportation for years to come and this transformation will help write the next chapter.
I realize this is difficult news to hear, but not a surprise given the challenging market and the need for cost competitiveness. These actions are not a reflection on our hardworking teams at these sites, but rather imperative for GE Transportation's future. By investing in digital, expanding our global product offerings and aligning our operations to meet customer needs, we are positioning the business to weather the market conditions and promote growth.
As we work through this process, we must remain focused. Our top priority continues to be our employees, customers, and communities. Please support one another and continue to deliver the products and services our customers expect.
Jaclyn Seymour is currently on her way to GE for more information, make sure to watch JET-TV news at noon and we will update the web and facebook throughout the day.
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