Machinists Question Immelt Jobs Agenda

In the past five months, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt eliminated scores of U.S. jobs when he closed GE plants in Virginia, Massachusetts and Ohio. The IAM is asking if this is the record that inspired President Obama to name Immelt to be chairman of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

“We are rewarding the guy who is turning off America’s lights, literally,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Two of the plants on Immelt’s hit list made incandescent light bulbs. Replacement bulbs will be made in – you guessed it – China.”

Even as Immelt was shuttering U.S. plants, he was cutting additional deals with the Chinese. In the past week alone, Immelt inked multi-billion dollar deals for 50 GE power plants in China, as well as a joint venture that will place GE’s most sophisticated cockpit avionics in the hands of a country that is poised to compete directly with U.S. aerospace manufacturers.  

“The U.S. aerospace industry is currently one of the few with a positive impact on the nation’s balance of trade,” said Buffenbarger. “We can ill afford to place its future in the hands of a man who is supporting its most determined competitor.”