Back in June we covered the story of General Electric throwing a fit of pique over the demise of the Export-Import Bank and threatening to ship their jobs overseas if the cookie jar wasn’t opened back up. The amount of sympathy which GE received from our readers and the conservative community in general was… muted to say the least. It seemed like a cheap, tawdry move which was designed to try to hold American workers hostage in exchange for getting what they wanted from the feds.
That story took a rather odd twist this week when some new information came to light. Most of the 500 jobs they were threatening to ship to Europe do not, in fact, exist. (Ex-Im Exposed)
General Electric (GE) made headlines Tuesday with the company’s announcement that it would be moving “around 500 U.S. jobs overseas. . . a decision the company said was prompted by the lapse of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.”
The announcement was another expected installment of GE’s desperate PR push to convince Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank—threatening American workers’ livelihoods in the process.
Here’s the thing no one noticed, though: at least 400 of those jobs don’t even exist.
I’m not sure if we’re going to get that upset about the loss of jobs which no Americans hold and apparently were still only in the planning stages. As the Washington Post discovered, these were hundreds of jobs that were dependent on external financing. If they had gotten the backing of Ex-Im they might have landed on the east coast of the United States, but now if they are “forced” to get help from a European agency the work will be done in France.
On Tuesday, GE said that with the fate of Ex-Im in flux it has reached an agreement with France’s export credit agency, Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (Coface), that could result in the company moving 400 jobs from South Carolina, Maine and New York to France. The timing of that transition is unclear. Those 400 jobs do not currently exist, but that is the number of jobs GE would create in France if it wins pending deals that Coface has agreed to help finance.
If those deals had received financing from the Export-Import Bank, the jobs would have gone to South Carolina, Maine and New York.
This is some seriously offensive behavior and definitely makes me look at GE in a different light. (No pun intended.) This is a company which grew to massive proportions and international prominence because it sprouted on the fertile ground of American capitalism. At one time they employed a massive army of workers here in America and my father even worked for them for a time in one of their three plants in Utica, New York. Those plants are essentially ghost towns now because GE has been outsourcing jobs for a long time before this happened. Their loyalty to the nation which allowed them to grow so large and enrich so many people is, at this point, suspect at best.
I remember when General Electric used to run ads saying, We Bring Good Things to Life. Apparently that doesn’t apply to employment opportunities.