Once the essential titan of American industry, General Electric turned heads in November when it revealed plans to break itself up into three smaller companies. GE shares have underperformed the market for years, with high levels of debt still haunting the company and CEO Larry Culp. have assured Wall Street that this historic split, expected in early 2023, will “spur long-term growth and value for customers, investors and employees.”
But some observers reading between the lines worry what or who will be the casualties of this breakup. GE is divesting a number of subsidiaries (most recently, divisions focused on home appliances, plastics and financial services), and estimates these latest spinoffs will come with $2 billion in transactions and other operating costs.
One such related group is the largest GE employees union, IUE-CWA. In a statement shared today fast companyIt argues that the warning signs are already there: American-made products and American jobs. Will Can be shed, it says.
The union says GE’s recent track record speaks for itself, and that breaking up parts of the company will cause factories to close and jobs to be outsourced. This points to a decision made less than a week ago by a recently divested subsidiary—GE Lighting, which Thomas Edison helped start in the 19th century but now Belongs to a smart-home company called Savant. On Friday, GE Lighting sent a letter Informing Ohio state officials about impending plans to close the last remaining US plant that makes GE light bulbs. It acknowledged that more than 200 workers would lose their jobs.
In the IUE-CWA statement, President Carl Kenebrough said these workers have been “betrayed by the company they have served for generations,” then notes that consumers can also say goodbye to American-made GE light bulbs. , adding: “The only thing American about these light bulbs would be the GE name on the label from which the company is still profiting.”
IUE-CWA is asking GE to “make a strong commitment” publicly before the split, that these three new companies will prioritize home jobs and facilities, ensuring both sides can enjoy long-term success . It added that if GE continues with its billion-dollar breakup plan instead of focusing on its domestic workforce and investing that money, more job cuts should be expected. Kennebrew asks GE stakeholders to echo the group’s calls. “Spinoffs, buybacks and marketing gimmicks will not lead to long-term value and growth at GE as executives have promised,” he says.
GE did not respond to a request for comment.
In mid-July, IT names revealed for “three independent, laser-focused companies” (GE Healthcare, GE Aerospace, and GE Venona), but shares didn’t jump on the news. According to market inspectionThis week GE’s stock closed more than $40 down from its 52-week high — which was $116.17 on Nov. 9, the day GE announced the split.