General Electric (GE) announced on Thursday it would cut 12,000 jobs in an effort to save $1 billion in 2018 to prepare for a decreased demand for fossil fuel power plants.
“Traditional power markets including gas and coal have softened,” the company said in a statement.
“This decision was painful but necessary for GE Power to respond to the disruption in the power market, which is driving significantly lower volumes in products and services,” GE Power president and CEO Russell Stokes said.
The layoffs are expected to largely affect the company’s staff in Germany and Switzerland, with a third of its workforce being cut in Switzerland and 16 percent of its staff likely to be let go in Germany, Reuters reported.
“The announcement by GE that it wants to cut thousands of jobs across Europe is neither strategically nor economically justifiable, and serves only to maximize short-term profit for shareholders,” said Klaus Stein, a union representative at GE’s plant in Mannheim, according to Reuters.
“We are not going to accept this, and we will fight … to preserve jobs,” he said.
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