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Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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GE shift could create 200 jobs in Clearwater

General Electric Co. says it plans to close an electrical components plant in upstate New York and move the work to Clearwater, creating 200 jobs for the area.

Local media outlets report that the Fairfield, Conn., company gave union workers in Fort Edward notice on Wednesday it could close by September 2014.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America and GE have a 60-day window to negotiate over the planned shutdown. The union says it will fight it.

The plant employs nearly 180 hourly workers and 20 salaried staff manufacturing capacitors.

GE operates an aviation plant on 14200 Roosevelt Blvd. in Clearwater.

The New York plant and a sister plant nearby were sources for decades of PCB pollution now being dredged from the Hudson River. Fort Edward is in Washington County, 43 miles north of Albany.

“No final decision has been made yet,” said GE Spokeswoman Chris Horne. If at the end of that 60-day negotiating period GE decided to close the plant, a move to Clearwater would come no sooner than a year from this week’s announcement. Presently, GE’s Clearwater facility makes transformers, and the intent would be to create a “Center of Excellence,” Horne said, though that’s also a separate decision by GE that’s yet to be made.

“The idea behind building a center of excellence is to consolidate resources and leverage some economies of scale,” Horne said. Moving the operations to Florida, she said, would “create a more competitive cost structure.”

Includes reporting by Staff Reporter Richard Mullins

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