Tonko, Schumer, Gillibrand Call on GE to Keep Jobs in Schenectady
Congressional leaders appeal to CEO to reverse short-sighted offshoring plan to relocate jobs to Poland
Amsterdam, September 3, 2020
AMSTERDAM, NY—Congressman Paul D. Tonko, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on General Electric CEO H. Lawrence Culp Jr. to reconsider the company’s plan to move 45 jobs from GE founding city Schenectady, New York to an offshore facility in Poland, and to instead collaborate with the Schenectady workforce to make improvements locally.
“America’s power grid should be built by American workers, and the capability to do this already exists in Schenectady,” the lawmakers write. “Many of the workers at this site are second and third generation GE workers who have played an outsized role in building GE into a trusted brand worldwide. The highly talented and hardworking employees in Schenectady and the greater community have long supported GE. Now, they deserve GE’s support in turn.”
The lawmakers are emphasizing the irreplaceably deep roots that GE has in the Schenectady community that include generations of loyal service by their Schenectady workers, voicing grave concerns that “this could be just the tip of the iceberg for future job loss in Schenectady.” They also offer strong support in the letter for calls by GE workers to halt the transfer of the targeted jobs and to collaborate with those workers on an in-depth look at production practices at the Schenectady site.
Chief Executive Officer
General Electric Company
5 Necco Street
Boston, MA 02210
Dear Mr. Culp,
We are deeply alarmed to hear that workers at the General Electric (GE) plant in Schenectady, New York have been informed of a transfer of jobs to GE plants in Poland. The transfer of these jobs will harm Schenectady area families and their community, and we urge you to take all steps necessary to stop the outsourcing of this vital work.
As you know, the GE Schenectady plant is responsible for building turbines and generators that help power our nation. America’s power grid should be built by American workers, and the capability to do this already exists in Schenectady. Many of the workers at this site are second and third generation GE workers who have played an outsized role in building GE into a trusted brand worldwide. The highly talented and hardworking employees in Schenectady and the greater community have long supported GE. Now, they deserve GE’s support in turn.
We are extremely concerned about the impact that this transfer of work will have on the short and long term viability of the Schenectady plant. We understand GE has stated that the transfer of work is estimated to be about forty-five jobs, which will have horrible consequences for forty-five local families. With additional layoffs anticipated at this plant as early as 2021, we echo workers’ concerns that this could be just the tip of the iceberg for future job loss in Schenectady. Needless to say, the news of both the transfer of work and anticipated layoffs is deeply troubling to all who care about the economy in upstate New York.
Over the years workers at this plant have made many concessions in an effort to keep work in Schenectady. Despite this, we understand GE still intends to outsource the work, claiming the plant in Poland runs more efficiently. The loyal workers of the Schenectady site deserve loyalty from GE in return—not to see more positions slashed.
We are calling on GE to take all steps necessary to stop the outsourcing of this work from the Schenectady plant. This includes listening to workers’ demands to halt the transfer of the 45 jobs, and cooperating with a study that would take an in-depth look at the production practices at the Schenectady site. Researchers at Cornell University have already agreed to take the lead in conducting this study.
We look forward to your response, and hope that we can work together, consistent with all federal rules and regulations, on this effort to keep GE jobs in Schenectady.
Paul D. Tonko Charles E. Schumer Kirsten Gillibrand