VIDEO: Sen. Markey, General Electric Workers Condemn Cuts to Lynn Factory, Urge Company to Invest in Good-Paying Jobs in Wind Energy in Massachusetts

LYNN, MA – Today, U.S. Senator Ed Markey joined General Electric (GE) Aviation plant workers in Lynn at the IUE-CWA Local 201 Union Hall to call on GE to rescind the latest round of offshoring and outsourcing of jobs at the Lynn plant and instead invest in Massachusetts jobs. GE’s latest attempt at slashing domestic union manufacturing jobs comes despite the company receiving billions in dollars in public subsidies in 2021, including $315 million in new taxpayer funds in the National Defense Authorization Act just months ago. Click here to watch the full video of Sen. Markey’s remarks.
U.S. Senator Markey: “When General Electric came to Massachusetts, they made a promise to invest in Lynn and these workers. This is an absolutely essential plant. It’s been the heartbeat of the defense of our country for a century and we have to ensure that it continues to do the job. We can see that ever more clearly today. The workers are trained, they’re ready, there’s no question about their ability to do this work. It’s a question of General Electric making financial decisions about having a lower price overseas, rather than having workers here in Lynn do this work.

“We have a national security interest in keeping these jobs here in the United States. This is the tip of the iceberg warning us that corporate profits are more important than America’s national security and investment in the workers here who have protected it for generations. These workers are the engine of our economy here in Massachusetts and we have to fight for them to ensure they continue to play that role.”

GE cutting American jobs at the Lynn plant is unfortunately not new. The GE Lynn plant workforce has seen a 90 percent reduction since 1985 when it employed over 13,000 unionized hourly workers. Since 2010, GE has invested over $1 billion in its overseas facilities, including $200 million in the Pune India brilliant factory, one of the sites where Lynn’s work is slated to be transferred.
American wind energy jobs are one of the key priorities announced by GE workers in Lynn who held a Boston protest last week, the largest demonstration by employees at GE’s headquarters in years. GE workers are calling for the company to:
  • Invest at least $5 billion over the next 5 years and add 35,000 jobs to existing and recently shuttered U.S. facilities
  • Reshore all U.S. military aviation production and 70% of GE industrial work offshored over the past 5 years
  • Let shareholders vote on the proposed breakup of GE and add elected worker representatives to the GE Board of Directors
  • Convert historic GE facilities into multi-modal brilliant factories with supplier parks to minimize supply chain disruptions, building an American offshore wind supply chain on our shores.
Senator Markey voiced his support for GE to invest in Wind Energy today: “Lynn is the home of General Electric, and right now General Electric is one of the largest wind manufacturers in the world. In fact, we import wind manufacturing technology from Europe that is manufactured by the General Electric company. We’re here, we’re on the coast line, Lynn workers are ready to do this work. Inside of the Build Back Better bill, I have a $10 billion domestic offshore wind manufacturing tax credit in order to incentivize wind component parts and turbines here in the United States and Lynn is perfectly positioned to take advantage of that. We need General Electric to say to the Lynn workers, ‘We want you to be a part of our future in wind, we want you to have this work. You have expertise in manufacturing turbines and we can repurpose that over to wind turbines, and in the 21st Century wind can help us fight against climate change while producing thousands of new jobs for Lynn in this historic plant.”

Adam Kaszynski, GE factory worker in Lynn and President of IUE-CWA Local 201: “We’ve been in Lynn for almost 100 years. Workers here today talking to Senator Markey go back generations. This work that GE is trying to send overseas and to non-union U.S. plants in the South is critical defense work that we’ve always done and done well. Our machines are old and there is disinvestment, but we have the skills to keep those machines running and get those parts out the door. Senator Markey is right that GE is making poor decisions about the future of Lynn to increase their profit margins. It’s wrong and we appreciate the Senator coming today to listen to us.”

In February, Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Representative Seth Moulton (MA-06) sent a letter to GE Aviation urging the company to invest in workers, preserve jobs at its Lynn plant, and abandon plans to transfer work from its Lynn facilities.
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