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G.E. Aviation cutting thousands of jobs in COVID-19 response

U.S. workforce to shrink 10 percent
GE AVIATION 2.jpg
Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 12:43:08-04

CINCINNATI — G.E. Aviation is cutting more than 2,500 U.S. jobs as it tries to cope with the airline industry’s downturn in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The company announced a 10% reduction in its U.S. workforce Monday and told employees there will be a “temporary lack of work impacting approximately 50 percent of its U.S. maintenance, repair and overhaul employees for 90 days.”

In a letter to employees, General Electric Co. CEO Larry Culp said the cuts are needed to conserve cash. He expects the company will save between $500 million and $1 billion in 2020.

G.E. executives will share in the pain also. Culp told employees he will forgo his entire salary for the rest of this year and G.E. Aviation President David Joyce will cut his pay in half.

“With regard to our financial position, our company is sound,” Culp wrote. “However, what we don’t know about the magnitude and duration of this pandemic still outweighs what we do know.”

The local impact of the cuts is not yet clear. Spokesman Perry Bradley said G.E. Aviation has about 10,000 local employees and 26,000 in the U.S. What that means is at least 2,600 workers will be impacted by the 10 percent work force reduction nationwide. Bradley could not offer a breakdown of how many of those workers are in Cincinnati.

Details are not yet available on the 90-day furloughs for employees who conduct maintenance and repairs on jet engines.

"Maintenance is just one portion of our business, but it’s directly impacted by the rapid decline in commercial aviation operations globally,” Bradley said in an email to WCPO.