GE employee: "I'm stunned" by announcement of massive layoffs
GE Transportation workers left the Lawrence Park plant Thursday wondering what's next after news of 575 layoffs hitting the company, ultimately ending locomotive production in the Erie area.
LAWRENCE PARK, Pa. - "I'm stunned, but I kind of saw it coming," said Matt Shioleno, 53, who has worked at General Electric Transportation in Lawrence Park for 12 years.
GE Transportation workers left the Lawrence Park plant Thursday wondering what's next after news of 575 layoffs hitting the company, ultimately ending locomotive production in the Erie area. Shioleno is among those who fears he could among the layoffs. He's a union employee who makes coils for the locomotives.
"I think it probably will be through bumping and whatnot," he said when asked whether or not his job will be eliminated.
Ed Hermann, an employee of 39 years, hopes he's spared.
"I'm retiring soon," said Hermann, 59, from his car as he left the plant Thursday afternoon. "I just feel bad for the younger people out there."
Those younger people include Greg Faulconbridge, 29, who is a software project manager. He is among the 1,100 salaried employees expected to keep their jobs.
"We don't know how it's going to play out in the future, but right now it's mostly manufacturing," Faulconbridge said.
Some GE workers tell +Erie News Now they received little-to-no warning from the company about the layoffs. They did receive a notice about a meeting set for early Thursday morning where GE leaders broke the news. Salaried and hourly employees were broken into separate meetings, Faulconbridge said.
For the residents of Lawrence Park, GE means a lot. Not only for the family-sustaining jobs, but also for the time and money their employees put back into the community.
"I think it's very sad, it's going to be a hit to the economy," said Susan Nowakowski, of Harborcreek.
"The taxes are reasonable here and I think that's a lot to them contributing," said Catherine Pugliese, of Lawrence Park.
The timeline for layoffs is unclear. That will be determined in part by upcoming negotiations between GE officials and labor unions, meaning some job losses could be delayed until 2018.
"I got a couple buddies that work there, young guys," said Kenneth Slocum, a retired GE Transportation employee. "They were going to need that job for a long time yet."