Bad news in Ft. Edward as General Electric makes its formal announcement that it will close its capacitor plant sometime after next September and transfer the work to a plant in Clearwater, Florida idling about 200 employees.
Earlier this week, Local 332 president Scott Gates said they could not come to an agreement to save jobs and said at that time, GE was not negotiating in good faith.
Local 332 said it offered to cut jobs by 10% and modernize equipment in Ft. Edward.
GE says however that proposal fell well short of the savings that would be realized by a move to Florida.
Here's the formal announcement from General Electric:
GE STATEMENT ON CLOSURE OF FT. EDWARD FACILITY
FT. EDWARD, NY – November 21, 2013 -- GE Energy Management announced today its decision to close its Fort Edward, New York, manufacturing facility.
GE Energy Management informed its employees today of its decision to close the Fort Edward facility and move manufacturing operations to an existing manufacturing site in Clearwater, Florida where the company will create a new manufacturing Center of Excellence. The closure will occur no sooner than September 2014.
The decision was made after completing the 60-day decision bargaining period and carefully considering the union’s proposal. Throughout the bargaining process we answered the union leadership’s questions and described Ft. Edward’s difficult competitive situation. The proposal submitted by the union fell well short of the savings and efficiencies that would be generated by the proposed move to Clearwater – savings that are critical to the future of the business.
The Fort Edward site has been losing money for several years and it has been difficult to win orders in an extremely challenging marketplace. To be competitive, GE Energy Management must reduce its costs.
This was a difficult decision and we fully understand the impact it has on our employees, their families and the community. The decision is not a reflection on the diligent efforts of our Fort Edward employees, who have worked with us to make the business more competitive. Regrettably, those efforts have not delivered the cost reductions needed to position the business for the future.
We thank our employees for these efforts and will do our best to help them through this transition, including exploring other job opportunities within GE and providing comprehensive benefits.
We also thank local, state and federal officials and community leaders for their concern and willingness to engage during these discussions.
GE will continue its environmental remediation work on the plant site and will meet its environmental commitments to New York State.
GE remains committed to the Capital Region where we have more than 7,000 employees. In the last several years, GE has created more than 1,600 new jobs, invested nearly half a billion dollars, and hired more than 450 manufacturing employees locally.