GE Lighting is making the strategic decision to close plants that are working far below capacity.
Last week, tEDmag.com reported the closures of two Kentucky plants and a plant in Illinois. The latest closures in the news are that of the Dover Products Plant in Dover, Ohio and the GE Lighting Glass Plant in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania.
Regarding the Dover Products Plant, Alicia Gauer, GE Lighting Senior Manager of Communications, told the Times Reporter in Ohio:
“In the last decade, the lighting industry has seen a major technology pivot away from traditional lighting products including incandescent, halogen, and specialty linear fluorescent lamps.”
“Consumer demand for traditional lighting is at an all-time low, and that shift has been supported by the U.S. government phasing out incandescent bulbs. As a result, volume is down dramatically at the Dover Products Plant, and the facility is operating at 90 percent below capacity.
“Looking forward, GE Lighting will focus entirely on driving innovation and growth in LED technology. By 2020, half of the US market’s consumer light bulb sockets will be LED and more than 80 percent of all global lighting revenues will come from LED.”
The Dover plant employs about 30 people.
In a similar report, GE Lighting notified employees of its intent to close the GE Lighting Glass Plant in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. This facility employs approximately 60 people and is operating at 80 percent below capacity.
According to Trib Total Media, Eric Dejohn, president of the local union, IUE-CWA Local 88640, said there would be no point in trying to offer cost-saving alternatives that might persuade GE to keep the plant open. It is outdated and only capable of producing traditional lighting products that are being replaced by more energy-efficient operations, he said.
“We’d have to get a whole new product line in there,” Dejohn said.
GE’s revenue from traditional incandescent and fluorescent lights has been declining as the government pushed for a phasing-out of the bulbs and consumers opted for more energy-efficient options, such as LED lights.
There are several common threads in these closures: the plants that are closing are operating extremely below capacity, the local unions and employees are encouraged to offer alternatives to the closures, the majority of employees would be eligible for retirement, and all seem to be closing by the end of August, 2017.
We will keep tEDmag.com readers informed of more closures if we hear of them.
Tagged with GE, jobs, lighting, tED