GE bosses to be probed on proposed job losses at Stafford site

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Bosses of the company General Electric (GE) will be quizzed this week by trade union Unite, after it was revealed that 1,100 jobs may be lost at their Stafford and Rugby sites.

Unite is seeking greater clarity on the future of the four GE power sites based in the Midlands, with managers and unions meeting today at the European Works Council in Paris.

The plan which was unveiled last month, includes 671 job losses from the Alstom business in Stafford, which was only acquired two years ago.

A further 429 jobs could be lost at Power Conversion in Rugby, who are also bought by GE.

Unite regional officer Zoe Mayou, said: “Last month General Electric announced 1,100 job losses in the UK, but we are not satisfied that a coherent business case has been made for these cutbacks. There is managerial opaqueness surrounding the whole exercise.

“We are concerned that local management could be making pre-emptive decisions before the consultation guidelines have been agreed at the European works council.

“What we are talking about are highly skilled engineering and research staff – vital for this country’s post-Brexit future – whose futures are at stake.”

GE explained their decision last month as a way of dealing with the challenges in the worldwide power market, which includes gas and coal.

Mark Elborne, President and CEO of GE UK and Ireland, said: “Regrettably, the proposed changes would have an impact on jobs in the UK.

“These are not proposals we ever make lightly and we understand that this news will be difficult for many people.

“Unfortunately, we believe that these changes are necessary to ensure that we can remain competitive and secure the future of GE Power in the UK.

“We have shared our proposals with employees’ representatives today and will now begin a consultation period before any final decisions are made.”

The sites at Stafford and Rugby have a workforce of about 2,800 people and make components for power stations and naval vessels.

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