Salem GE rejects union proposals, moves ahead with plan to close plant

By Heather Butterworth - Digital Content Producer

SALEM, Va. - Things look bleak for the General Electric plant in Salem, despite efforts from the union and Senator Tim Kaine.

After the announcement that the plant would close, eliminating 265 jobs, Kaine urged the GE to reconsider, but it doesn't appear that the company will. 

The GE has just rejected the union's proposal of multiple cost-saving measures. Union Representative Vicky Hurley said the union proposed wage cuts, unpaid lunch breaks, and other measures that would save the company an estimated $6 million. 

Hurley said it is still astronomically cheaper to move the manufacturing plant to India, and confirmed that will be the new location.

GE has been in the community since 1955. It was one of the area's largest employers. At its peak, the plant employed 3,500 people, according to Mike Stevens, communications director for Salem. 

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