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GE Transportation confirmed on July 27 that it intends to transfer the production of locomotives from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Fort Worth in Texas. The move is planned by the end of 2018, and would see the loss of up to 575 jobs in Erie. The proposal is subject to a 60-day decision bargaining period, if requested by the trade union.
‘In recent years, North American freight locomotive volume has dropped approximately 10% and locomotive orders for all manufacturers in the USA have declined’, GE said in a statement. ‘Today, growth market opportunities for locomotive orders are global. Given these market realities and the need for cost competitiveness across our global markets, GE Transportation announced its intent to transfer production of locomotives and kits for international customers to the GE Manufacturing Solutions facility in Fort Worth’.
GE said the move was ‘necessary to drive efficiency, better compete in the increasingly competitive global rail market, and preserve US jobs.’
It said transferring work was ‘always a tough decision, especially in a community like Erie where we have operated for over 100 years and will continue to have deep roots, but necessary given today's challenged market.’
GE Transportation intends to keep its locomotive development and prototyping activities at Erie, which it said would remain its largest location with approximately 2 000 hourly and salaried employees.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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