The IAM today sharply criticized General Electric (GE) Aviation in Albuquerque, NM, for refusing to jointly meet with state officials over a planned shutdown that could cost more than 1,300 jobs and $30 million in economic activity.
“The clock is ticking on an economic time bomb for hundreds of families in Albuquerque,” said Western Territory GVP Gary Allen. “This facility can and should be saved, but the company has thus far refused to meet with lawmakers jointly or seriously discuss responsible alternatives to abandoning this facility.”
On July 28, General Electric stunned the Albuquerque community with an announcement that the 40-year old South Valley facility would be closed, despite high productivity and company assurances of additional engine work coming to the plant in the future.
Following the announcement, the company and the union began a 60-day period of “Decision Bargaining” to explore alternatives to closing the facility. “While the 60-day window, which ends Sept. 25, can be extended by mutual agreement, GE has shown little interest in efforts by the union to identify additional revenue or cost-saving opportunities,” said Ernest “Red” Dow, Local 794 President and Directing Business Representative.
“This company has benefited enormously from state and local incentives over the years,” said Allen. “It is the height of arrogance that they should now sit silently across the table, hardly lifting a finger while the deadline draws closer. In the midst of the greatest economic upheaval of our generation, largely caused by greedy corporations, we have every right to demand more responsible behavior from companies such as GE.”