General Electric (GE) is to axe 1,100 jobs in the UK as part of a corporate restructuring that will see 12,000 jobs go world-wide.
The cuts are aimed at saving GE $1bn in its troubled power division – part of a programme to reduce the company’s overall structural costs by $3.5bn in 2017-18.
The company says the plans announced today are driven by challenges in the global power market, with issues of overcapacity, coal and gas volumes down, and the growth in renewables.
‘Painful but necessary’
“This decision was painful but necessary for GE Power to respond to the disruption in the power market, which is driving significantly lower volumes in products and services,” said GE Power president and CEO Russell Stokes in a statement.
“Power will remain a work in progress in 2018. We expect market challenges to continue, but this plan will position us for 2019 and beyond.”
In the UK, the job cuts will primarily affect staff in Stafford and Rugby – roughly 6% of the workforce will lose their jobs. There will be a consultation period before any final decisions are made
UK ‘still key market’
Mark Elborne, GE president and CEO for UK & Ireland, said: “These are not proposals we ever make lightly and we understand that this news will be difficult for many people.
“Unfortunately, we believe that these changes are necessary to ensure that we can remain competitive and secure the future of GE Power in the UK.”
He added: “GE remains committed to the UK, which will continue to be a strategic market for GE.
“We have almost 18,000 employees working at 65 sites in UK. Following this proposed restructure, we would remain one of the top five industrial companies in the country.”