For more than 100 workers at General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), the new year is off to a rough start. A round of GE layoffs in January 2018 will claim about 130 jobs in New York State over the next two weeks. GE layoffs in Schenectady follow the company’s stated goals of reducing costs. GE layoffs in Niskayuna were also announced, affecting workers at the research lab in that town.
The first round of GE layoffs in 2018 is hardly expected to the be the last. The company has seen its stock slide for well over a year, leading to a restructuring plan involving major job cuts.
GE Power layoffs were some of the first job cuts at the company this year, despite GE touting power as one of its three pillar sectors, alongside aviation and healthcare. The changing landscape in the power sector has put the company on the back foot and has led to severe reductions at GE Power.
GE Global Research layoffs have also been part of the company’s plan to cut costs by about $1.0 billion.
So far, GE has yet to confirm the total number of its job cuts, but three sources said that the company is shedding 130 workers. The company did say that both professional and production workers would face the axe in 2018, which is a departure from 2017, when the company said that no production workers would be laid off that year.
“As announced last month, based on the current challenges in the power industry and a significant decline in orders, we plan to reduce our global headcount, affecting both professional and production employees,” read a statement issued by GE about the latest layoffs.
“As part of these actions, we are restructuring our production capacity in Schenectady. This action is difficult and does not reflect the performance, dedication and hard work of our employees. GE will be providing a comprehensive severance package to impacted employees, including transition support to new employment.”
The GE layoffs in 2018 will have to contend with union rules when the company selects which workers it pushes out.
The Schenectady campus houses approximately 4,000 workers, featuring a mix of professional, managerial, and production workers—the majority of which are involved with GE Power.
The GE layoffs in January 2018 may potentially be the first step in a long year of job reductions for the company, with hundreds of workers potentially losing their jobs as the year progresses.
Job Cuts at GE Power in 2017
Both the Niskayuna and the Schenectady locations were the targets of job cuts prior to the GE layoffs in January 2018. In late November 2017, news broke that an unconfirmed 75 workers would be shed in a round of Schenectady layoffs. This was in addition to several other rounds of GE Power layoffs in 2017.
The cuts were part of the company’s stated goal to implement GE Power layoffs that would see a reduction of 12,000 jobs worldwide, amounting to an approximate 20% reduction of the jobs in the division.
The changing landscape of the power industry is forcing GE to adjust to new challenges in the marketplace, as well as thinner profit margins, while the company more broadly seeks ways to stop its stock price from falling.
Job Cuts at GE Global Research in 2017
The Schenectady plant is hardly the only GE campus to be the target of job cuts. There were two publicly acknowledged rounds of Niskayuna layoffs in 2017, though neither one was quantified. These job cuts were part of the GE Global Research layoffs, a separate move from the GE Power cuts. One of the rounds of layoffs claimed 150 jobs, affecting many chemical researchers. GE claimed that the other round of Niskayuna layoffs was relatively small one.
“GE cuts Schenectady workforce again,” The Daily Gazette, January 5, 2018.