GE confirms layoffs at Schenectady campus

About 75 salaried workers reportedly let go
General Electric's main plant in Schenectady.
General Electric's main plant in Schenectady.

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — General Electric on Thursday confirmed a round of jobs cuts at its Schenectady/Rotterdam campus, the site of several earlier layoffs in 2017.

As in the previous layoffs, GE would not say how many employees are affected or what they do for the company. It indicated only that those affected are salaried employees, not the hourly workers who do production work.

GE employs about 4,000 in the sprawling complex at the foot of Erie Boulevard. A source there said the latest round targets about 75 of them.

The company has been struggling for years to increase profitability and reverse a long slide in stock value. The tempo and urgency of GE’s efforts have increased in recent months, with the arrival of a new CEO who indicated in November that Schenectady-based GE Power will need to cut $1 billion in expenses.

GE Power issued a statement Thursday about the layoffs in Schenectady:

“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 decisions, which does not reflect on our employees’ performance, dedication and hard work. GE will be providing a comprehensive severance package to impacted employees, including outplacement and transition support to new employment.”

By “combined business,” General Electric meant GE Power and GE Energy Connections, two businesses that were combined to form GE Power when GE Energy Connections President Russell Stokes took over as president of GE Power this past summer.

The publicly acknowledged rounds of job cuts earlier this year in Schenectady have been smaller than the one confirmed Thursday:

  • In September, a source within GE said 15 to 25 low-level management employees were laid off. The company would say only that a “small number” of jobs were eliminated.
  • In March, a “very small number” of jobs were cut, the company said, but again it would not identify them.
  • The only clearly defined round of Schenectady job cuts was in January, when another GE business — Current Powered by GE — reported 35 layoffs to the state Department of Labor as required by the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification process. The other GE layoffs in Schenectady apparently did not meet the requirements of mandatory WARN reporting.

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