FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20, 2022
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With 55,000 U.S. jobs at risk, largest union representing General Electric workers questions focus on branding
DAYTON, OH – As General Electric made national headlines this week unveiling the names and logo colors of the three companies it is splitting itself into, the president of IUE-CWA, the largest union representing GE workers, slammed the company for going in the wrong direction.
“General Electric wants us to believe that the most important thing about its plan to divide itself into three separate companies is what those companies will be called and what their team colors will be,” said IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew. “It’s not. The most important thing is that this break up will jeopardize up to 55,000 U.S. jobs and the long term future of its businesses.”
With all three companies set to continue use of GE’s original logo, it’s clear the company understands the value the GE brand represents to customers. But the reality is that GE’s split is threatening the company’s long-established commitment to value. “Only real investment in plants, equipment and people can turn around GE’s fortunes, not gimmicks,” added Kennebrew.
“This plan to split is hurting the company, with GE spending billions of dollars on stock buybacks, on the split itself, and still seeing its stock price fall,” Kennebrew added. “Moving forward, our members deserve certainty, inflation protection, a fair contract, and real investment in each of their divisions. So far what they are getting is new corporate names and an expensive corporate separation.”
In just the last decade, GE has eliminated tens of thousands of good-paying U.S. jobs, by offshoring, outsourcing, and moving entire lines of business.
“GE’s final splintering is also endangering America’s future as a green energy leader given the critical role GE’s wind turbine technology could play in the U.S. renewable energy sector and the development of a US manufacturing base for offshore wind” Kennebrew said.
Financial reporters forecast that private equity buyers will rapidly carve up the resulting three GE divisions: GE HealthCare, GE Vernova and GE Aerospace, after the initial split, underscoring the uncertain future that GE businesses, workers and key stakeholders face. GE Vernova is set to hold the current GE Power and GE Renewables business lines.
“Letting Wall Street carve the company up for parts will cripple GE’s ability to be the clean energy leader the U.S. needs to compete with China and Europe,” Kennebrew concluded. “Simply put, GE slapping a new coat of paint on a broken strategy that’s hurting workers and the company’s future is not the change we need. GE must finally stop job cuts and Wall Street handouts and instead invest in its American workers here to ensure its long-term success.”