GE lays off workers in a move to stay competitive

Friday, April 1, 2005

AUSTIN,Texas - In February, General Electric announced plans to layoff 60 people within its Arden Hills, Minn.-based Interlogix office and transfer 127 manufacturing positions from its CADDX facility in Gladewater, Texas to an existing plant in Mexico.

“This comes down to how we remain competitive in the market,” said Michelle May, communications manager for GE Security. “These are the actions you take to stay competitive.”

The Interlogix location, which will have a headcount of approximately 160 after the layoffs are completed, will suffer the loss of finance, marketing and customer services positions. GE will consolidate some of the job’s functions into its office in Tualatin, Oregon, May said.

“If there’s anyone that knows the benefits of off-shore manufacturing, it is GE,” said Jack Mallon, managing director of Mallon Associates. “It’s just a reflection of what’s happening in the U.S. economy.”

In Gladewater, Texas, all but 10 engineering positions will be transferred and the plant will be closed. The facility in Mexico already produces network panels for the company, said May.

In the second quarter of last year, GE contacted the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and said it would reduce its headcount in the state by 130 or more, according to Kit Borgman, communications director for the agency.

As required by federal law, GE must notify the state when plans call for staff reductions of more than 50. This recent notice modifies and revises an existing filing the company previously submitted.

Layoffs at both divisions are expected to begin this quarter and continue through the end of the year.

Interlogix, of which CADDX is a division, merged into General Electric’s industrial systems division after the company’s acquisition of the Austin, Texas-based firm in February 2002. The global electronic security company operates in more than 35 countries and manufactures security products and systems for deployment in commercial, industrial and residential environments.

The division is comprised of three divisions: security and life safety, enterprise technologies and key management. Security products include access and building control, explosive and narcotics detection, intrusion and fire detection and video surveillance.