Business

GE to cut 6,500 Alstom jobs in Europe

French Alstom employees Image copyright Getty Images

US manufacturing giant General Electric plans to cut up to 6,500 jobs in energy units it bought from French engineering giant Alstom over the next two years.

The figure includes 765 jobs to go in France.

To secure the deal last year, GE had soothed French government concerns by pledging to create 1,000 jobs in the country.

A GE spokesman said the company would stick to its pledge, creating the roles in the next three years.

Up to 600 jobs in the UK could be affected, the BBC understands. GE employs about 22,000 people in the UK.

In Europe as a whole, staff in Alstom's renewables, power services and energy management divisions could be affected.

A spokesman said unions had been informed.

"This is a plan, which could change following discussion with employee representatives," he added.

Around 1,300 of the layoffs will be in Switzerland, the firm said.

Strategic

In May last year, GE pledged to create jobs in France as part of efforts to calm French government concerns about the US company's proposed acquisition of Alstom's energy units.

At the time, both GE and Siemens were in talks with the French government to try to secure a deal.

The French government had previously given itself powers to block foreign takeover bids for companies deemed "strategic".

GE's takeover of Alstom's energy business - which includes gas and steam turbines, wind turbines, turbines for hydro dams and power grids - added about 65,000 employees to GE's workforce of about 305,000.

The head of GE's power division said in September the company would seek to make $3bn (£2bn) in cost savings over five years from the Alstom acquisition.

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