General Electric European Action Day: GE Workers take action against short-sighted strategy

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For the second time in two years, GE management is being confronted by a transnational mobilisation of European trade unions. With GE shareholders’ annual meeting taking place tomorrow (25 April 2018), workers across Europe are saying ‘ENOUGH’ to a strategy which is putting thousands of their jobs and GE industrial capacities at risk. Throughout Europe, GE workers will take part in a massive European Action Day to demonstrate their determination to reject the planned 5,500 job cuts. This is sending a strong signal about GE workers’ and trade unions’ commitment to ensure the future of their jobs and industrial sites in Europe.
 
For the second time in two years, GE management is being confronted by a transnational mobilisation of European trade unions. With GE shareholders’ annual meeting taking place tomorrow (25 April 2018), workers across Europe are saying ‘ENOUGH’ to a strategy which is putting thousands of their jobs and GE industrial capacities at risk. Throughout Europe, GE workers will take part in a massive European Action Day to demonstrate their determination to reject the planned 5,500 job cuts. This is sending a strong signal about GE workers’ and trade unions’ commitment to ensure the future of their jobs and industrial sites in Europe.
 
Upon their trade unions’ call, GE workers will take action over the next days in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK to demonstrate to GE management they have had ENOUGH of their short-sighted, mainly financially-driven decisions which are jeopardising the future of the company, as well as workers’ livelihoods. 
 
Despite GE being a highly profitable multinational group with its energy businesses generating 3.7 billion dollars profit in 2017, it has chosen to further reduce its industrial footprint by 30% by 2020, close strategic sites and slash an additional 5,500 jobs in Europe.
 
This decision by GE management calls the company’s entire strategy into question. Boasting to be an “innovation-driven” and “sustainable company”, GE is now planning to close R&D centres and drastically cut innovation investments alongside plant closures and massive job cuts which will serve as nothing but a loss of strategic know-how. 
 
Under the umbrella of their European trade union federation, industriAll Europe, GE workers’ trade unions demand that GE:
1.    Suspends the restructuring plan, stop job cuts and plant closures
2.    Adopts an alternative long-term industrial growth-oriented strategy based on high-level investments, ground-breaking innovation, job creation and quality jobs
3.    Provides full and regular transparency on GE strategy and build a close dialogue with worker representatives to ensure GE better anticipate and manage the energy transition in a socially responsible manner
4.    Commits to maintaining a strong industrial base in Europe to support EU energy policy
 
"With over 125 years of activity in Europe and the high-level expertise and technical know-how GE workers have developed, GE has become a key player in equipping Europe’s energy production”, stressed Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe General Secretary. “GE thus also has a tremendous responsibility to bear and sustain in contributing to the EU energy policy and energy independence by securing and further developing a strong industrial base in Europe. It is highly disappointing that GE seems ready to scrap everything they and their workers have achieved for the sole purpose of generating short-term cash and shareholder value. GE Management need to recognise the precarious situations their workers face as this result of such a short-sighted strategy. Enough is ENOUGH.” 
 
Follow the action on social media - #2018ActionDay_GE
 
Download the full European trade unions’ declaration in EN, FR and DE
 
Download the call for mobilisation (flyer) in EN, FR and DE
 
You may also read this Press Release in FR & DE