FORT EDWARD, N.Y. – Thursday was the first step in discussions between the union and GE executives, as the town of Fort Edward braces for the loss of potentially hundreds of jobs.
Union representatives and GE officials met at the Fort Edward plant Thursday for preliminary negotiation talks. The negotiation is still in the early stages; the union has 60 days to make its case to GE on why the Fort Edward facility should stay open.
As part of a cost saving plan, GE announced intentions to close the Route 4 plant and move all 200 jobs to Clearwater, Florida.
A spokesperson for GE says no “official” closing plan has been announced, just simply an “intention” put on the table.
Union officials say the Fort Edward plant is still viable, and GE is choosing cheap labor over quality labor.
“This is an obligation on GE to at least put back into
this community some decent jobs. For this corporation to announce now that it
wants to walk away– it's shameful and it's gotta be stopped,” said International
union representative Chris Townsend.