Category Archives: GE

GE cuts Schenectady workforce again

Schenectady Gazette

General Electric continued a yearlong series of workforce reductions at its Schenectady-Rotterdam campus with a new round of job cuts announced Friday.

Three sources at GE put the number of affected workers at 130, significantly more than in recent previous cutbacks. The company would not say how many people will be affected but said both professional and production workers would be laid off. This is a change from reductions made last year. In each of the 2017 layoffs, the company stressed no production workers were losing their jobs.

GE issued the following statement Friday:

“As announced last month, based on the current challenges in the power industry and a significant decline in orders, we plan to reduce our global headcount, affecting both professional and production employees. As part of these actions, we are restructuring our production capacity in Schenectady. This action is difficult and does not reflect the performance, dedication and hard work of our employees. GE will be providing a comprehensive severance package to impacted employees, including transition support to new employment.”

Many of the production workers in Schenectady are represented by IUE-CWA Local 301. Its business agent, Rob Macherone, issued this statement Friday:

“We are extremely disappointed by GE’s recent announcement to lay off up to 130 of our hourly union members. This will be devastating to both the members and their families impacted, as well as the community. It is disheartening that, despite our members’ hard work and dedication, they have to pay such a steep price for GE’s mismanagement while the ones responsible, such as [former GE CEO Jeff] Immelt are rewarded with lucrative severance packages. Our main focus right now is on supporting our members affected and continuing our efforts to preserve middle-class jobs.”

The most recent previous round of publicly confirmed cuts in Schenectady came on Nov. 30. A source within the company put the number laid off during that round at 75, though GE would not confirm that figure.

The firm did say approximately 4,000 people worked on the sprawling campus at the foot of Erie Boulevard. Those employees are a mix of professional, managerial and production workers from a variety of General Electric businesses, but the majority of them work for GE Power, which has its headquarters there.

The company has been struggling for years to increase profitability and reverse a long slide in stock value. The tempo and urgency of GE’s efforts have increased in recent months, with the arrival of a new CEO, John Flannery.

Flannery in November singled out Power as one of the three core businesses that General Electric would stake its future on, along with Aviation and Healthcare. But he also singled out Power as having deep financial troubles and said it would need to cut $1 billion in costs. GE Power announced last month that it would reduce its workforce by 12,000 worldwide.

Some other local GE workforce reductions in 2017:

  • In September, a source within GE said 15 to 25 low-level management employees were laid off. The company would say only that a “small number” of jobs were eliminated.
  • In March, a “very small number” of jobs were cut, the company said, but again it would not specify the cuts.
  • The most clearly defined round of Schenectady job cuts came in January, when another GE business — Current Powered by GE — reported 35 layoffs to the state Department of Labor, as required by the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification process. The other GE layoffs in Schenectady apparently did not meet the requirements of mandatory WARN reporting.

No WARN notice has been posted yet for the cuts announced Friday.


G.E. Appliances is launching its own version of Quirky for businesses called Giddy


G.E. Appliances (now a subsidiary of the Chinese appliance manufacturer Haier) is spinning out a crowd-sourced product development business as a service for corporate customers under the name Giddy.

It’s the idea that won’t die — even though several of the companies that originally supported it have foundered over the years. Companies like Quirky and Local Motors tried to tap the maker community to create product development shops that would leverage amateur engineering and design talent and at-home prototyping to create new products to sell to the mass market.

Those companies raised over one hundred million dollars in combined financing to pursue their vision, but Quirky went out of business and Local Motors has seen its vision for letting a thousand car designing engineers flourish stall out.

Now G.E. Appliances, which once celebrated its Quirky connection, is taking the same model and pitching it to other corporations.

From its headquarters in Louisville, Ky., G.E. Appliances had incorporated the Quirky model as a subsidiary called FirstBuild which the company was using to test new products. Some of those products like a new ice maker and machine for cold-brewing coffee have had success and actually made it to market.

“Companies are continuing to evolve the way they approach innovation, and are more willing to go outside their four walls to generate good ideas,” said Giddy chief executive Taylor Dawson, in a statement.  “We’re giving businesses access to fresh thinking, while providing opportunities for people to do what they love and gain experience.”

Since its launch FirstBuild has expanded from Louisville to offices in Shanghai and a planned location somewhere in India set to be unveiled in 2018.

Giddy takes the Quirky and FirstBuild model and sells it to companies asa mobile platform through which companies can post challenges to employees and outside designers.

The company said it will launch its first challenge at CES with more to follow.

Businesses pay a fee to use Giddy, but amateur inventors, hobbyists, and makers can join for free. They will be able to peruse challenges and find some that interest them.

“Yes, the technology is great, but the value is in Giddy’s creative community from artists to engineers and makers,” said Dawson in a statement. “We saw the power of community and open innovation at FirstBuild. If it worked that well for GE appliances, we’re confident other companies can benefit from a similar approach.”

A Big Year For General Electric Shareowners: GE Store, New Focus, Great Ideas


The LEAP engine, which took its maiden flight last fall, has 3D printed parts and components made from next-generation materials called ceramic composites.

GE’s industrial shift also brings benefits like the GE Store. “It means that every business in GE can share and access the same technology, markets, structure and intellect,” Immelt writes. “The value of the GE Store is captured by faster growth and higher margins; it makes the totality of GE more competitive than the parts.”

The GE Store allows the company to take FAA-certified alternators from its jet engines and use them to build better oil pumps. It can also use medical imaging technology to inspect subsea pipelines. “No other company has the ability to transfer intellect and technology as GE can through the Store,” Immelt writes.


A group of analysts who recently visited GE’s research headquarters in Schenectady, N.Y., seem to get the point…

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GE, Caisse de Depot to buy Gas Pipeline From Morgan Stanley

General Electric Co. and Canada’s second-largest pension fund agreed to buy a 9,300-kilometer (5,800-mile) U.S. natural gas pipeline system from Morgan Stanley for an undisclosed price.GE Financial Services and Caisse de Depot et placement du Quebec will buy 111-year-old Southern Star Central, which operates the pipeline system that stretches across eight U.S. states and mainly serves Kansas and Missouri, the pension fund said in a statement Friday.


Gas production in the U.S., especially in the middle of the continent, has surged as advanced extraction technologies allow producers to access hydrocarbons trapped in shale rock formations.


“For la Caisse, this is a high-quality asset that is strategically well-located,” Macky Tall, senior vice president of infrastructure at the Montreal-based pension fund, said in the statement.

General Electric is Getting Down To “Fighting Weight”

Ancien Hippie

Pictured above, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is taking President Barack Obama on a tour of giant building 273 in the General Electric’s “Main Plant” in Schenectady, New York. This is the image Immelt wants everyone to picture his company as.

Thank you to my comrade KC Jones for kicking off this discussion by writing about “Time to sell GE Stock? NO! Time To Buy

Headlines all over the place:

General Electric Co will shed most of its finance unit and return as much as $90 billion to shareholders as it becomes a “simpler” industrial business instead of an unwieldy hybrid of banking and manufacturing.

The company on Friday outlined a restructuring plan that includes buying back up to $50 billion of its shares, selling about $30 billion in real estate assets over the next two years and divesting more GE Capital operations. GE stock jumped 8.5 percent.


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With help from Penney Vanderbilt