Jobs safe at GE Healthcare in Cork

Jobs at GE Healthcare in Cork are safe despite its parent firm slashing 6,500 positions across Europe.

US conglomerate General Electric confirmed the job losses as it seeks some $3bn (€2.76bn) in cost savings following its takeover of French company Alstom’s power business last November.

The cuts will see 1,700 positions scrapped in Germany and a further 765 in France.

GE’s Irish operations will not be affected however, a spokesperson confirmed.

“There are no plans to reduce our workforce in Cork. The facility there serves our healthcare business which is unrelated to the Alstom deal,” the spokesperson said.

The news will come as a relief to workers at the plant in Carrigtwohill which last year saw further investment from the company.

The medical technology giant announced plans to invest a further $40m in the manufacturing facility on the outskirts of the city with the creation of up to 140 additional positions, seeing its workforce swell to close to 640.

The company expects to generate $1.1bn in savings this year and almost three times that amount by the end of the decade.

“This is a necessary step to increase the competitiveness of the former Alstom businesses and generate the synergies we have targeted,” Deirdre Latour, a GE spokeswoman, said by email.

“We will work constructively with employee representatives throughout the process.”

GE is seeking to maximise returns from the $10.3bn acquisition as chief executive Jeffrey Immelt broadens the company’s reach in the energy markets.

He is expanding divisions that make generators and oilfield equipment while selling off consumer-focused and finance operations.

The Alstom deal tightened GE’s grip on the lucrative business of servicing and maintaining gas turbines, while adding joint ventures in renewable energy and electrical transmission businesses.

The job cuts represent about 14% of the 48,000 people that the company’s power division employs in Europe after the Alstom acquisition, a spokesman said.

“We will absolutely ensure that General Electric sticks to its commitment to create 1,000 new jobs and will replace every job which it scraps in France with a new one,” French economy minister Emmanuel Macron told reporters in Paris.

Additional reporting — Bloomberg


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