SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – General Electric gave the Electric City its nickname, but now some of those jobs may be on the way out.
G.E. has announced it will be moving positions overseas, and it is laying blame on Capitol Hill.
Five hundred jobs will be cut affecting employees in Schenectady, Texas, Maine and South Carolina.
The company said the reason for moving jobs overseas is due to the closure of the U.S. Export Import Bank.
“This is an expression of failed leadership,” Congressman Paul Tonko said. “The republican controlled house refuses to bring the bill reauthorizing the Export Import Bank to the floor. And we’ve been told over and over again that many businesses out there from industries like G.E. to medium and small sized businesses in this district have prospered from that concept.”
The Export Import Bank is a federally backed financial institution. It makes and guarantees loans offering insurance to American companies so they can do business in other countries.
It’s been around for 80 years, but in July, Congress failed to act. As a result, the Ex-Im Bank wasn’t reauthorized.
G.E. said it had $11 billion worth of projects hanging in the balance, so it reached an agreement with France.
G.E. released the following statement:
“The truth is that Ex-Im supports thousands of U.S. jobs and has returned $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury over the last 20 years – a rare government program that supports the economy while cutting the deficit…”
“In a competitive world, we are left with no choice but to invest in non-U.S. manufacturing and move production to countries that support high-tech exporters.”
Local 301 is the union that represents most of the Schenectady G.E. workers whose jobs are at risk of being cut. They said they learned of the news Tuesday morning, and they’re unsure what to make of it but are disappointed by Congress’ inaction.
“It’s significant because these are manufacturing jobs,” Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said. “They’re well paid, good benefit package. They’re people you want in the community.”
It will also affect Schenectady’s economy.
“I don’t have a specific dollar or the full impact it will have, but it’s not going to be positive,” McCarthy said.
Not all house republicans are opposed. Congressman Chris Gibson said he supports the Ex-Im Bank.
The layoffs are expected to take place in 2017.