Bosses at General Electric (GE) will be quizzed this week by Unite, the country’s largest union, on the business rationale for 1,100 proposed job losses at Rugby and Stafford in the Midlands.

The plan, unveiled last month, is made up of 671 job losses from the Alstom business acquired only two years ago and 429 jobs from Power Conversion, also bought by GE, which are largely based at one of the factory sites in Rugby.

Unite is seeking clarity and greater transparency on the future of the four GE Power sites at Rugby and Stafford when the unions and management meet under the auspices of the European works council in Paris from tomorrow (Tuesday 16 January).

Unite regional officer Zoe Mayou said: “Last month General Electric announced 1,100 job losses in the UK, but we are not satisfied that a coherent business case has been made for these cutbacks. There is managerial opaqueness surrounding the whole exercise.

“We are concerned that local management could be making pre-emptive decisions before the consultation guidelines have been agreed at the European works council.

“What we are talking about are highly skilled engineering and research staff - vital for this country’s post-Brexit future – whose futures are at stake.

“We also want to probe the extent delays to government procurement decisions, such as the indecision about whether the £1.3bn Swansea tidal lagoon will go-ahead, which would provide work for GE Power as part of its Power Conversion business.

“We are aware that GE wishes to commence consultations as soon as possible, but Unite is adamant that this should not start until the details and process have been agreed at the European level.

“This is to ensure that proper consultation with detailed information can happen at the various GE sites.

The sites at Rugby and Stafford have a workforce of about 2,800, and make components for power stations and naval vessels.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065


Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.