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General Electric lays off workers at power business in New York

FILE PHOTO - The ticker and logo for General Electric Co. is displayed on a screen at the post where it's traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Alwyn Scott

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) said on Friday it was laying off workers at its power division in Schenectady, New York, as it tries to reduce costs after a steep profit drop at the division.

GE declined to disclose the number of workers affected.

A report by local ABC TV affiliate News10, citing sources inside GE's Schenectady plant, said about 75 people had been notified that they are being let go.

So far this year, GE has laid off at least 75 other workers in New York state, according to state records.

GE Chief Executive John Flannery, who took over in August, has promised to cut $1 billion in company spending this year and $2 billion in 2018, as the company grapples with its weak financial results and declining share price. GE's profit fell about 9 percent in the third quarter.

GE has grounded corporate jets, eliminated company cars for hundreds of executives, delayed part of its Boston headquarters and reduced employment in many locations.

The company has also changed a number of top executives, including installing a new CFO, and plans to exit more than $20 billion in business in the next two years.

"GE has previously announced a plan to reduce $3 billion in cost by the end of 2018," the company said in a statement. "Those actions include, but are not limited to, employee reductions, which have been under way for many months."

GE said "a significant decline in orders" at GE Power prompted the layoffs in Schenectady. Workers will receive severance and help finding new jobs, GE said.

GE's downsizing is not limited to its power division. In July, the company disclosed plans to lay off 575 workers at a railroad locomotive plant in Erie, Pennsylvania. An August report commissioned by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 506, which represents the workers, estimated they earn about $108,000 a year in pay and benefits.


(Reporting by Alwyn Scott, editing by G Crosse)

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