General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)—better known as GE—has not had an easy time of it this year. The GE Power layoffs in 2017 are creating an impact all across the country as one of the most powerful companies in the world contends with mounting debt and begins to institute strict cost-cutting measures to counter the trend. Many of these cuts are in the Power division, meaning energy company layoffs are among the many sectors of the massive organization seeing job cuts.
A GE Power sales decline that has been hurting the company for years now is one of the primary drivers of many of these cuts. The most recent cuts were GE Schenectady layoffs, where 75 jobs were slashed. And it’s not only the main sectors of the company that have been targeted by these cost-cutting measures; a General Electric subsidiary—GE Digital—has also seen layoffs throughout the year.
The GE Power layoffs at Schenectady were targeted at the headquarters of the Power division. The GE Power job cuts are just one of the tools being wielded in order to try and reduce the company’s debt. While the company has had strong words in the past for the Power division, hoping for it to become one of its three core businesses, GE Power order declines have instead made the division a poor performer, leading to these layoffs. GE has cut about 30,000 workers since 2014.
The company also released a statement following the cuts:
“Based on the current challenges in the power industry and a significant decline in orders, GE Power continues to transform our new, combined business to better meet the needs of our customers. As we have said, we are working to reduce costs and simplify our structure to better align our product solutions, and these steps will include layoffs. These are difficult decision, which does not reflect on our employee’s performance, dedication, and hard work. GE will be providing a comprehensive severance package to impacted employees including outplacement and transition support to new employment.”
GE Power Layoffs Part of $1bn Cost-Cutting Plan
GE Power’s cost-cutting comes even while the company plans to build around the division as one of its three core pillars, with the other two being Aviation and Healthcare.
But that plan has hardly come to fruition, with GE instead looking to cut about $1.0 billion in costs in order to make that part of the company more profitable.
In the third financial quarter of 2017, the company illustrated the power industry challenges. For instance, while the company as a whole registered an 11% uptick in orders, it followed that bit of good news with a telling statement: “Strength in most segments offset by Power.” This revealing information shows that instead of being a foundation for the company, Power is looking more like a hindrance.
The GE Power layoffs 2017 are a direct result of that poor performance.
GE Power Plant Closing in Waukesha, WI Led to 350 Job Cuts, Earlier in 2017
Despite tough talk in government about keeping companies and jobs in the U.S. to help American workers, a GE power plant closing earlier in the year led to 350 job cuts as the company looks to relocate north to Canada.
The cuts occurred in Waukesha, WI. The GE Power Waukesha layoffs were also among some of the higher-paying manufacturer jobs in the community, coming in at $30.00 an hour for factory jobs. Across the state, that accounts for almost double the median wage.
These represent yet another addition to the GE Power layoffs in 2017.
GE Power Layoffs Preceded by Additional Layoffs at General Electric in 2017
The company has undergone a number of rounds of job cuts aside from the GE Power layoffs in 2017.
The company-wide GE layoffs in 2017 have affected hundreds of workers across the country and seen many of its divisions stripped of employees.
The GE Transportation layoffs added about 1,000 cut employees to the running tally, with 575 jobs being lost at a century-old manufacturing factory in Pennsylvania earlier in the year. Another transportation cut took place in Fort Worth, Texas, where 250 people lost their jobs.
GE Lighting layoffs rose by 281 as people in Ohio and Illinois were left jobless as cuts increased.
“Consumer demand for traditional lighting is at an all-time low, and that shift has been supported by the U.S. government phasing out incandescent bulbs,” said Don Hatfield, a manager for GE Lighting, in a letter. “As a result, volume is down dramatically at the Circleville Lamp Plant, and the facility is operating at 90 percent below capacity.”
Another round of cuts took place as GE Global Research cut 150 employees from its Niskayuna, New York, workforce.
And yet another division that also took a hit this year is GE Digital. The GE Digital layoffs saw an undisclosed number of people lose their jobs in mid-November.
All in all, whether its the GE Power layoffs 2017 or the broader cuts made to the company, the century-old American mainstay has certainly seen better days.
“GE announces layoffs at its Schenectady plant,” News10, November 30, 2017.
“Schenectady-based GE Power to cut about $1 billion in costs,” The Daily Gazette, November 13, 2017.
“GE 2017 third quarter performance,” General Electric Company, October 20, 2017.