Scotland business

GE Caledonian Prestwick plant jobs 'at risk'

Jet engine Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption GE Caledonian repairs and overhauls engines for large commercial planes

General Electric (GE) has confirmed that more than 170 jobs are under threat at its aero engine servicing plant at Prestwick.

The company has told staff 173 posts could go as a result of shifting some work from GE Caledonian to Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT) in Taiwan.

GE said the EGAT facility had "a more attractive cost profile".

The Prestwick plant repairs and overhauls engines for large commercial planes.

If the redundancies go ahead, about 500 employees will be left at GE Caledonian - 300 fewer than four years ago.

Formal consultation

In a statement, GE said: "On Thursday 8 May 2014, employees at the GE Caledonian facility were notified of a proposal from GE Aviation to transition CF6-80E engine volume from the GE Caledonian facility to Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT).

"If this proposal is implemented, it would mean a reduction in the workforce at GE Caledonian.

"Employees have been notified that up to 173 jobs could be at risk of redundancy.

"Before any final decision is taken regarding the implementation of this proposal, the company is fully committed to engaging in formal consultation on the matter for a minimum period of 45 days.

"We remain committed to continuing an open dialogue with employees and representatives and to providing information and advice to support our workers."

It added: "The proposal to move volume from GE Caledonian is based on the high level of competition in the overhaul sector and the need to provide low-cost options for engine overhaul.

"The EGAT facility has a more attractive cost profile."

Patti Leary-Kreitzer, site leader at GE Caledonian, said: "There is more competition in the overhaul sector than has ever existed before, especially for legacy engine models.

"The proposal to transfer the servicing of our CF6-80E engines to Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT), one of GE's strategic partners, is part of GE Aviation's efforts to meet customers' need for high quality, low-cost engine overhaul.

"It is regrettable that this proposal, if implemented, would mean a reduction in the workforce at GE Caledonian, but it is an important step to ensure GE Aviation remains competitive moving forward."

Regional officer for the Unite union, Paul Neilson, said: "We do see it as a planned and deliberate removal of jobs from that plant.

"We will enter into consultation and we will work to minimise the impact of this. We will do all we can to argue the case for Scotland."

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