Hundreds of GE employees temporarily out of work due to low demand

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by Nicole Harrell

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 18 at 7:15 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A low demand for refrigerators means a few hundred workers at Louisville's Appliance Park will be off the job for several weeks.

On Monday GE notified second shift employees at the refrigeration production plant that the workers would be out of work for about five weeks while inventory is depleted.

A total of 550 employees are affected but GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman tells us that 100 of those may stay and continue working.

The other employees who qualify can collect unemployment and income extension aid which amounts to about 75 percent of their pay.

GE released the following statement Monday:

GE Appliances has notified the second shift of its refrigeration production plant that starting February 25 production will temporarily stop, or what is called lack of work (LOW), for a period of approximately five weeks, to allow excess inventory to be depleted. LOW is a standard business practice used to align our manufacturing rate and staffing with current market realities.

At the end of 2012 appliance industry sales were down almost one million units from 2011 and 2013 is starting off slower than anticipated. We are confident with the award winning new refrigeration products, the upcoming summer refrigeration selling season and a continued upward trend in the home building industry, Appliance Park is very well positioned for the future.

This is an unfortunate, temporary bump in the road as we work to transform our business. GE Appliances hired over 2500 employees in Louisville in 2012 alone. In LOW situations, those who qualify can collect unemployment and income extension aid which amounts to about 75% of their pay as well as retain their GE benefits.

 

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