General Electric could cut hundreds of UK jobs

Approximately 6,500 jobs are at risk across Europe, including more than 600 in the UK, as the US industrial company General Electric begins to cut costs after its takeover of the power operations of the French company Alstom.

The cuts are taking place even though GE pledged to create 1,000 jobs in France when the deal was completed in November.

About 765 jobs are expected be lost in France and 1,700 in Germany as the company, which employs 100,000 in Europe, begins a consultation with unions. The jobs at risk in the UK amount to about 3% of the 12,000-member workforce.

Jeffrey Immelt, the longstanding chief executive of GE, met the French president, François Hollande, and appeared before the French National Assembly to win support for the deal, the largest undertaken by the US company.

He plans to help GE return to its manufacturing roots after a period of expansion into other areas. Last year, under pressure from investors to end its expansion into the financial arena, he sold the private equity business. The divestments began 10 years ago, with the sale of the group’s insurance operations.

The negotiations to buy Alstom’s power and grid business were long-running. It offered to buy the business in April 2014 but had to embark not only on a charm offensive in France but also secure regulatory approval in Europe. When the deal was completed, GE said it expected $2bn (£1.4bn) of cost savings.

Powered by article was written by Jill Treanor, for on Wednesday 13th January 2016 11.56 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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