General Electric plans to cut 950 jobs at a Pennsylvania locomotive plant, wiping out most of the site's recent employment growth, as it shifts some production to a lower-cost factory in Fort Worth.The reductions are slated to start in six months pending a 60-day period of talks with union leaders, said Lorenzo Simonelli, head of GE's transportation unit. The Fort Worth plant, located just west of the Texas Motor Speedway, is about 20 percent more efficient than GE's Erie, Penn., facility, which is more than 100 years old."Cost is becoming more and more of a factor," Simonelli said in an interview. "We've got to match our competition and that's what we're trying to do."GE had expanded its workforce at Erie by about 1,000 in the past two years to 5,500 today as it increased output of locomotives and mining equipment. Employment at the Fort Worth plant, which started building locomotives in January, is expected to increase to 550 workers over the next 18 months from 330 now.Simonelli said production of Evolution-series locomotives will be increased in Fort Worth, along with wheels for mining equipment, as output in Erie is reduced. About 10 percent of the work now handled at the Pennsylvania site will be moved to Mexico and third-party manufacturers, he said.Approximately 200 of the Erie job cuts, more than 20 percent, are linked to declining coal demand, Simonelli said. GE's railroad customers have parked about 3,000 locomotives as utilities that once relied on coal carried by trains to produce electricity began switching to cheaper natural gas from shale formations."The outlook for the volume on the locomotive side as well as from the coal-mining equipment is down versus what we anticipated," Simonelli said.The number of reductions at Erie may change depending on negotiations with the union, he said. The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, which represents about 3,500 GE workers in Erie, said the shift is unacceptable.We intend to resist this with every tool at our disposal and to fight tooth and nail to retain all of the work that has always been done there, said Chris Townsend, the unions political director.Since 2011, GE has spent about $140 million upgrading the Erie plant to boost capacity and add research and testing technology.Erie remains the global headquarters for GE Transportation's locomotive business, and will continue to build locomotives as well as components for the Fort Worth plant and overseas factories.Simonelli said the Fort Worth factory is more efficient than Erie based on "a number of different attributes," including the plant's layout and workforce rules. The Fort Worth plant's lack of union employees wasn't a consideration in the decision to cut jobs in Erie, Simonelli said. Texas, a right-to-work state, forbids requiring union membership as a condition of employment.Transportation and other manufacturing businesses like health care and energy have been a focus of GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt's growth strategy. He's shrinking the finance unit after credit-market disruptions in 2008 jeopardized the company.Industrial sales accounted for more than 65 percent of GE's $144.8 billion in revenue last year, with $5.6 billion coming from GE Transportation, which is the world's largest builder of locomotives.