Only a few weeks after siemens, the u.S. Industrial group general electric (GE) now also wants to cut back its power plant division.
Worldwide, the company plans to pay around 12.000 jobs to be cut, including 1600 at the german sites in mannheim, stuttgart, berlin, monchengladbach and kassel. Ge power conversion in berlin and GE grid solutions in monchengladbach are to be closed completely, the company announced in frankfurt on thursday.
Like siemens, GE cites price pressure and weak demand for conventional power plants as key reasons for the decision. "The decision was painful but necessary," said GE global power chief russell stokes.
Like siemens, the U.S. Company manufactures gas turbines and other power plant technology. However, due to the increasing proliferation of wind and solar power plants, demand has dropped significantly, and with it the achievable prices. "We expect the market to remain challenging," said stokes.
Ig metall immediately announced its opposition to the plans. Trade unionists at various locations announced that they would fight for the jobs. In view of the billions in profits in all business areas, the planned job cuts are incomprehensible, said marco sprengler, vice chairman of the supervisory board of GE deutschland holding gmbh and leader of the IG metall trade union in freiburg.
"The power business unit, which is most affected by the job cuts, made a significant contribution to the group’s earnings worldwide with 2.11 billion euros and an operating margin of 9.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2017."Ge should present a sustainable investment strategy instead of job cuts.
Ge germany chief executive alf henryk wulf stressed that the cuts would be made as socially acceptable as possible and would be discussed with employees. Previously, works meetings had been held at the GE plants.
As with the siemens plans, the federal state of berlin is again particularly at risk from the cuts. But there is still a possibility of keeping GE jobs in berlin, said klaus abel, an IG metall representative in berlin. Should the company cut the 500 production jobs, the remaining 300 in the marienfelde plant would also be threatened. "Our interpretation is that if we can’t prevent this, we can’t keep the rest," abel said. According to abel, the two other GE sites in berlin with about 400 additional employees will remain unaffected by the austerity measures for the time being.
According to its own figures, the group employs around 10,000 people in germany.000 employees at more than 50 sites. Germany remains an important market and location, the company affirmed, and referred to an investment of over 115 million euros in the metallic 3D printing business area. The conglomerate had already announced the elimination of thousands of jobs in europe at the beginning of 2016; in germany, mannheim was particularly affected.
The company wants to concentrate on the energy, aerospace and healthcare technology businesses. One billion euros are to be saved in the power plant division alone in the coming year, while costs across the group are to be reduced by 3.5 billion dollars this year and next year.