Wednesday, February 11, 2009

GE transport unit to cut or furlough 1,550 workers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – General Electric Co (GE.N) on Tuesday said it will cut 350 jobs and temporarily furlough 1,200 workers at its locomotive unit as production declines.

The cutbacks affect about 14 percent of the 11,400 workers at GE Transportation, spokesman Stephan Koller said.

About 150 salaried and 200 hourly workers will lose their jobs. The layoffs may last from May to November, Koller said.

GE Transportation, which is based in Erie, Pennsylvania, said it expects locomotive production volume to decline more than 40 percent this year from 2008. It also said more than 50 percent of its backlog is slated for 2010 and 2011.

"The overall economic downturn is substantial and we at GE Transportation are not immune," Simonelli said in a statement.

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