GE Security to trim workforce at Maine plant

Thursday, March 19, 2009

PITTSFIELD, Maine--GE Security announced this week it will be reducing its workforce at a plant here that manufactures fire and life-safety products, mainly geared toward the commercial market. The plant employs 425 people and GE spokesperson Michelle May said it was too early to say just how many would be laid off, as workers have been offered "voluntary reduction" packages before lay-off actions begin in mid-May.

Regardless, the workforce reduction is a small percentage of GE Security's 5,900 overall employees and the Pittsfield plant is just one of 12 the company operates.

May said the need for workforce reduction was generated by "reduced sales": "This is a volume reduction," she said, "and every company bases workforce on their volume ... We're constantly reviewing operations, how we continue to meet the needs of our customers, and we have to make adjustments based on our projected volume. And I believe the economy is affecting that projecting."

May said GE Security did everything it could to avoid layoffs in this case. "They've reduced costs every way they can to not have to reduce employees," she said. "It's not something that we jumped to at first. It was a tough, but necessary, thing."