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Rebecca Wayman

General Electric announces plans to axe over 1,000 jobs in UK

Industrial giant, General Electric has announced plans to cut 1,100 jobs from its UK power business.

The proposals, blamed on a downturn in the global gas and coal market, is said to mainly affect activities at sites in Stafford and Rugby, with 500 roles to be axed at each.

The jobs are also among 12,000 being cut worldwide as the company slashes costs.

Mark Elborne, head of GE UK and Ireland, said: “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.”

GE currently employs around 18,000 people in the UK, while the cuts represent six per cent of the workforce in this country. The company set out the plans to its staff on Thursday (December 7).

General Electric has said that “traditional power markets including gas and coal have softened” while “volumes are down significantly in products and services driven by overcapacity [and] lower utilisation, an increase in steam plant retirements and overall growth in renewables.”

GE said the restructuring would “simplify, consolidate and improve the efficiency of” research and development across its products.

However Unite the Union’s national officer, Linda McCulloch, added: “General Electric is in danger of cutting too far, too fast and leaving itself ill equipped to meet the challenges of the changing power generation market.

“Over the coming days and weeks, Unite will be supporting our members and scrutinising the company’s business case as we fight to save as many jobs as possible.

“Unite will also be seeking guarantees from General Electric that there will be no compulsory redundancies and that there will be redeployment opportunities for workers wishing to stay with the business.”

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