In a move that underscores General Electric’s desire to close a jet engine facility in Albuquerque, NM, the company has refused thus far to extend the 60-day “meet and confer” period designed to find ways to keep the facility open. The 40-year old plant is responsible for more than 1,300 local jobs and generates more than $30 million in annual economic activity.
“We will continue the fight and make every effort to save these jobs, but it becomes more obvious every day that we do not have a willing partner on the other side of the table,” said Local 794 President Ernest “Red” Dow. “I firmly believe the decision to close the Albuquerque plant was made long ago and that G.E. had no intention to seriously consider alternative proposals.”
In addition to surface bargaining in Albuquerque, General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt ignored invitations from the New Mexico congressional delegation to discuss the proposed closure and also declined to discuss potential upgrades to the facility that could dramatically increase productivity.
“After speaking out publicly and to considerable acclaim about the need to preserve high-skill manufacturing jobs, G.E. has failed utterly to put those words in to practice when it had the opportunity,” said Western Territory GVP Gary Allen. “Any future statements from G.E. should be weighed accordingly.”