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General Electric: Axe falls on 120 Stafford jobs with hundreds more still at risk

By Richard Guttridge | Stafford | News | Published:

The axe is set to fall on 120 jobs at General Electric in Stafford, with hundreds more still at risk.

General Electric in Stafford

Members of staff were called to meetings with GE chiefs at the company’s factory in Lichfield Road yesterday.

It was announced last month that the firm is closing one of its four factories at the site and staff said they were yesterday told 120 jobs will go over the next two years.

However that number could end up being closer to 500 as GE looks to save £750 million worldwide next year.

General Electric has insisted that no decisions will be made until the end of a consultation period but the news brings more uncertainty for the workforce in the face of large-scale job cuts.

Staff emerging from meetings yesterday told how redundancies were likely to be phased until 2020.

One, who did not want to be named, said: “They said 120 people will be going over a two-year period. I have been here for four years. A lot of people have been here all their life.”

Stafford councillor Paul Gilbert said: “There is a workforce of 270, of which around 50 per cent will be made redundant. They are asking for voluntary redundancies.”

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Consultation

Councillor Gilbert said job losses would be a major blow for the town.

He added: “It just appears on the surface nothing is being done to try and secure the employment of these people

“It was said there would be a job centre desk there but that means nothing.”

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A spokesman for General Electric (GE) confirmed: “There was a meeting with employees at the Stafford site.

“This is part of the ongoing consultation process.

“Just to reiterate, GE are still in consultation and no decisions will be made until the end of the consultation process.”

Staffordshire County Council said that a ‘taskforce’ would be meeting next Tuesday to discuss support available for affected members of staff.

It was announced before Christmas that the firm would be closing one of its four factories in Lichfield Road. Around 500 jobs could eventually go across the company’s power division operation in the town.

GE needs to save £750m around the world next year, blaming a fall in demand for new power stations and lack of investment for the cost-cutting drive. The proposal is to close the Power Services factory at Lichfield Road and the Leicester Road Power Conversion site in Rugby and transfer some of the activities to other GE Power sites.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Deputy Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Deputy Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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