In a letter released this week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Paul Tonko called on General Electric CEO Lawrence Culp to "take all steps necessary" to stop the outsourcing of jobs from GE's Schenectady plant to Poland.
GE has announced plans to transfer 45 jobs from Schenectady. GE was founded in Schenectady, and workers at the plant build turbines and generators that are critical components of America's power grid.
"We are extremely concerned about the impact that this transfer of work will have on the short and long term viability of the Schenectady plant," the lawmakers wrote. "Needless to say, the news of both the transfer of work and anticipated layoffs is deeply troubling to all who care about the economy in upstate New York."
"This is about more than 45 jobs," said Chris DePoalo, Business Agent for IUE-CWA Local 81301 in Schenectady. "We see this outsourcing of key national electrical grid work as the tip of the iceberg. Historically, GE has started with shipping a small unit of jobs overseas, and then progressed to outsourcing full product lines. We are convinced GE's current plan to move work to Poland threatens the very stability and sustainability of GE's Schenectady operations."
Researchers at Cornell University plan to conduct an in-depth study of the production practices at the plant. The lawmakers are urging GE to cooperate with the researchers in order to improve efficiencies at the plant and keep jobs in New York.