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GE to shed 12,000 jobs worldwide as demand for traditional power plants drops

GE to shed 12,000 jobs worldwide as demand for traditional power plants drops
From CBC - December 7, 2017

General Electric Co said Thursday it is axing 12,000 jobs at its global power business, the struggling industrial conglomerate's latest effort to shrink itself into a more focused company.

The number of Canadian jobs lost is not yet known, as GE declined a request from CBC News to say how many layoffs will be at its Canadian operations.

The U.S. company launched the cuts to save $1 billion in 2018 at its Power business, saying it expects dwindling demand for fossil fuel power plants to continue.

GE's cuts follow a decision by rival Siemens AG to slash 6,900 jobs in the face of a global shift by electric utilities away from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.

GE did not give a breakdown of the job cuts, which represent about fourper cent of its overall workforce of 295,000, saying only that they would be primarily outside the United States. The cuts represent about 18 per cent of GE's Power business, GE said.

Decision to buy Alstom

The announcement cast a spotlight on GE's decision to spend 9.7 billion($17billion Cdn when the deal closed in 2015) on the energy business of France's Alstom.

The deal rounded out GE Power's portfolio by adding steam and nuclear capabilities to its mainly natural gas turbine power business. But the purchase came just as demand for new power plants was slowing, in part due to competition from wind and solar systems.

"Traditional power markets including gas and coal have softened," GE said on Thursday, explaining the decision for the job cuts.

Sales of power plants decline

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