GE Renewable Energy to cut 199 jobs in Spain, local labour union says
GE's Cypress turbine. Picture credit: Zout Fotografie (Rein Rijke)
General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) plans to slash 199 jobs at its renewables unit in Spain, Spanish labour union organisation UGT FICA said on Friday after meeting with the ministries for the ecological transition and industry to ask them to get involved in finding alternative solutions to the layoff.
The union characterised the restructuring plan as a “traumatic” solution coming at a time when the renewable energy industry in Spain is earmarked to receive over EUR 16 billion (USD 16.7bn) of combined investments by the private sector and the government via the state’s Covid-19 recovery fund. The public-private investment instrument for renewables, hydrogen and energy storage, locally known as PERTE ERHA, is supposed to strengthen the sector and maintain and boost jobs, among other objectives, UGT FICA said.
The union further stated that the renewables industry emerged as a strategic sector for Spain in the context of the current energy crisis and economic and energy consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.
“Cutting the workforce cannot be the solution to temporary problems,” the union secretary Mikel Zarandona said.
GE Renewable Energy operates four sites in Spain, two of them being factories that make wind turbine blades, one making hydropower components and a research and development centre, according to the company's website.
In early October, Reuters reported that GE was getting ready to lay off workers at its onshore wind business around the world after grappling with losses, weak demand and high costs. Dismissals were to first start in North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and in Europe and Asia Pacific at a later date, sources told Reuters at the time. About a month ago, GE workers in the US mobilised to protest against job cuts and a lack of pay boost amid inflation, and demand more offshore wind jobs.
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