Schenectady GE plant to layoff nearly 200 workers - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Schenectady GE plant to layoff nearly 200 workers

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – General Electric out of Schenectady has announced Wednesday they are laying off around 200 employees as a way to reduce costs.

The company says this is part of their plan to restructure the company's manufacturing operations. The layoffs come after GE was contracted one of the largest deals the plant has had; a $2.7 million deal to produce power plant turbines and generators for Algeria

The layoffs are expected to happen between now and the end of the year.

GE spokesman Shaun Wiggins tells NEWS10 ABC, "In order to retain our competitiveness in this challenging, dynamic industry, we're looking at ways to reduce cost across the global Power & Water business. There will be some reductions in jobs between now and the end of the year, but it will be minimized and targeted, impacting less than 2% of our total workforce globally."

Wiggins says they have already identified who will be laid off and notices have started going out.

The 200 workers who will lose their jobs will not be any of the hourly production employees. They will be the salaried, non-union workers who do a wide range of jobs, he says.

Wiggins says that the employees impacted by these cuts will be helped by the company, to look for other positions within GE.  However, those who choose to leave the company will be given severance and outplacement assistance.

The Schenectady plant, which holds the company's renewable energy headquarters, employs 4,000 people. It also holds a GE steam turbine, a generator plant, a wind farm monitoring center and a battery factory. 

Over the next two years, the plant is expected to build most of the power plant turbines and generators for the Algerian government, which is part of a $2.7 billion order which GE recently announced.  This is one of the single largest orders the Schenectady plant has ever had. 

Mayor Gary McCarthy says its only a minor setback, pointing out that GE created 450 jobs in Schenectady at a battery factory two years ago.

"The GE campus right now is the largest industrial campus in the state of New York. You've seen facilities in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, those have all closed down. GE has reduced its workforce here, but has been reinvesting not only in the main place but their R & D plant in Niskayuna," he said.

In September, about 200 GE workers from the Fort Edward plant, who are represented by a union, found out the plant will be relocating to Florida.  

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