More than 30 of the approximately 200 jobs at General Electric Co.’s Fort Edward capacitor plant could be eliminated if GE decides to outsource the production of extruded film used in capacitors and some very small capacitors.
“Last month GE Energy announced its intent to cease production of component capacitors and capacitor film at our Fort Edward facility and purchase these materials from a supplier in order to improve our competitive position,” said Christine Horne, a GE spokeswoman.
However, Horne said a final decision on the outsourcing won’t be made until early December because the company and the union are engaged in a 60-day decision bargaining session in which employees can recommend alternatives.
Scott Gates of Local 332 of the United Electrical Workers of America said the union is trying to save the jobs. “We are trying to keep them here.”
The union, he said, will hold an informational rally in front of the Fort Edward plant from noon until 2 p.m. Friday to express its displeasure with the projected loss of jobs.
“It could just be the beginning of layoffs,” Gates said. He said he understood the jobs would be outsourced to a company in Japan and a company in New Bedford, Mass.
The Fort Edward plant employs a little over 200 people, Horne said.
“The core product lines manufactured at the facility are large industrial and utility capacitors, which will not be impacted by this proposal,” Horne said in a prepared statement.
She said neither the small capacitors that serve a limited market, nor the extruded film used as a raw material in manufacturing capacitors are core operations at GE’s Fort Edward plant. She said making these products at the plant is not cost effective.
“In addition, the capacitor manufacturing industry has shifted to another type of film technology which is made with a different process than currently exists in Fort Edward,” Horne said.
She said the extruded film production staff at the Fort Edward plant is 23 hourly workers. She did not say how many were employed making the very small capacitors.
Gates said a total of 32 jobs are expected to be lost.