June 26, 2013
GE Transportation President & CEO confirms nearly 1,000 jobs will be eliminated Erie, beginning in October. The news of jobs being eliminated is now official and the community is reacting following the statement released today by GE. It's a proposal first made public in April. Following a lengthy bargaining period in which no agreement could be reached. GE has announced they will move forward with the transfer of locomotive and OHV production to Fort Worth, Texas. Mike bond is a GE employee and heard the news during his shift. He says it's unfortunate so many workers will be out of the job and he fears more job elimination will eventually come. County Executive Barry Grossman says he's disappointed but wants to remind people that although the jobs are being eliminated GE will still be in Erie. He says everyone should work together to make sure the company stays profitable. Grossman also adds that he is concerned for the families involved. Senator Sean Wiley says he will now turn his focus to making sure state resources are available for displaced workers. The Chamber of Commerce is worried for the future of Erie's economy. Jake Rouch says we'll begin to see the change in our economy in 2014 when unemployment begins to run out and people can't find work. The process will take 24 months and begins in October.
Here is the statement from Lorenzo Simonelli, President & CEO of GE Transportation:
"Following the conclusion of decision bargaining with the union, GE has been considering its options to meet the competitive challenges in our business. We have considered the subjects discussed during bargaining, and looked closely at what is best for our long term competitive position. We have decided to move forward with our proposed transfer of locomotive and OHV production to GE's Manufacturing Solutions facility in Fort Worth, Texas and take corresponding job actions in Erie, beginning in October. We are taking this difficult step to meet an increasingly competitive marketplace that requires us to reduce costs and have a more flexible workforce and a more efficient operation. We regret that our efforts to preserve as many jobs as possible during the decision bargaining process were not successful, but now we must make changes to protect the long-term health of our business. We recognize this will be difficult for our friends, colleagues and neighbors. However, Erie will continue to be an integral location for GE Transportation, and we are taking this important step to ensure the company is stronger, more competitive and can meet the growing challenges of our global economy."
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