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GE cutting 12K jobs from Power unit to reduce structural costs

GE cutting 12K jobs from Power unit to reduce structural costs

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Energy conglomerate General Electric said Thursday it will eliminate 12,000 jobs from its Power division as part of a restructuring plan to cut costs by about $1 billion.

Officials said the cuts, about 18 percent of GE's total workforce, align with the company's broader effort to decrease costs by $3.5 billion this year and next -- and an aim to lower structural costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.

GE cited a changing power market as part of the reason for the move. Gas and coal markets have softened and a growth in renewables have challenged the traditional power market worldwide.

"This decision was painful but necessary for GE Power to respond to the disruption in the power market, which is driving significantly lower volumes in products and services," GE President Russell Stokes said in a statement Thursday.

"We expect market challenges to continue, but this plan will position us for 2019 and beyond."

Though the company did not address when the job cuts would start, Bloomberg reported that most of the eliminated positions will be seen outside of the United States. Positions in France, however, will not be affected.

"We generate more than 30 percent of the world's electricity and have equipped 90 percent of transmission utilities worldwide. Our backlog is $99 billion and we have a substantial global installed base," Stokes said.

"This plan will make us simpler and stronger so we can drive more value for our customers and investors."