European Action Day @ General Electric: 8 April 2016

maandag 7 maart 2016   GE needs an industrial strategy in Europe! Stop restructuring plan! No to de-industrialisation! On 8 April 2016, industriAll European trade unions with membership within General Electric (GE) are mobilising for a European Action Day to take place simultaneously at the company headquarters in Paris and at company sites all over Europe. Trade unions call for GE management to halt the current restructuring plan and, instead, to adopt a coherent and sustainable industrial strategy so as to ensure the future of jobs and of Europe’s energy sector.

This European mobilisation will be the culmination of a series of decentralised actions which have already started to take place in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland in various forms (massive local demonstrations and rallies, numerous statements of solidarity, a petition launch, meetings with local and national authorities, …).

GE has become a major player in energy-related industries in Europe after its takeover of Alstom Power activities last November. Only three months after having closed the deal, and with the objective of saving € 3 billion, GE management has decided upon a large-scale reorganising and restructuring plan affecting all European countries and involving 6 500 job cuts. This is aimed at meeting shareholders’ demand for a quick return on the € 6.5 billion euros spent on the takeover, which was the most important one for the American group in recent years. GE’s presence in Europe is thus now as important as its presence in the US.

Beyond the takeover issue, all GE workers are confronted with a management team which refuses to provide its strategy for the years to come, especially in terms of investments, innovative programmes, funding plan, launch of new technology projects as well as new production and research capacities which would be all the more relevant in view of skyrocketing needs for the development of renewable (wind, hydro) energy.

Whereas Europe has tremendous assets in energy fields, it is GE management’s responsibility not only to safeguard industrial and human capacities that exist in each current European plant, but also to engage in a genuine dialogue with trade unions on a long-term strategic plan.

Trade unions throughout Europe thus urge GE management to:

  • suspend the job cuts and the corresponding restructuring plan.
  • drop its deindustrialisation strategy and come up with a genuine industrial project for its activities in Europe, based on long-term planning, including investment plans, development of know-how and R&D as well as innovation programmes.
  • comply with its national and European obligations to inform and consult workers and their representatives prior to any final decision being taken.
  • take into account the viable alternatives proposed by workers’ representatives for the medium and long-term future of industrial sites, jobs and skills.

GE management as well as public authorities must seriously take into consideration GE workers’ concerns and expectations as to the safeguarding of their jobs and of the industrial activities they contribute to develop.

Twitter hashtag: #EUActionDay_GE

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