GE Appliances to close Bloomington plant end of August, eliminating hundreds of jobs

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(Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—GE Appliances will continue with its plans to close the company’s refrigerator plant in Bloomington, Indiana at the end of the month.

The president of Local 2249 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers confirmed the news Thursday, stating 301 of their union workers would be affected. An additional 27 of the union’s salaried workers at the plant will also lose their jobs when the plant closes on Aug. 26.

In June, the company announced their plan to close the Bloomington Production Operations, LLC, citing demand for the side-by-side refrigerators manufactured at the plant has decreased 76 percent since 2008.

GE said all hourly employees will receive 90 percent of their base wages and unreduced company benefits through June 15, 2017.

BPO General Manager of Operations Frank Scheffel released the following statement:

“No one ever wants to have to close a plant. But if it must happen, as is the case here in Bloomington, you want to make sure employees are treated fairly. I’m proud to be part of a company that takes care of its employees. We’ve been through a lot together, and we can now start the next chapter of our lives knowing we have the resources to make a successful transition to retirement or to new employment for those who wish to work.

“In addition to being paid and receiving benefits from the time we cease production through June 15, 2017, 94 percent of our employees will be able to retire with a pension and health care coverage. All eligible hourly impacted employees will receive extensive benefits, such as severance based on length of service, job placement assistance, education and retraining assistance, and preferential hiring rights at other GE Appliances and GE locations, as well as assistance from government and community resources.”