General Electric recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of making locomotives in North Fort Worth, but now the company is reportedly considering jettisoning the operation.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Boston-based GE is exploring options to divest GE Transportation including bringing in a partner, spinning off the division or selling it. The move comes as GE’s new CEO, John Flannery, looks to streamline the manufacturing conglomerate and sell more than $20 billion in assets over the next two years.
GE is also considering the divestiture of its health-care information technology business, Reuters reported.
GE opened its plant in far north Fort Worth, north of Texas 114 and west of the Texas Motor Speedway, in late 2012. The GE Manufacturing Solutions facility, which builds locomotives and railroad kits, employs about 600 workers including a companion plant that build mining equipment.
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In July, GE announced that it would shift more production from its older locomotive plant in Erie, Pa., to Fort Worth, and recall as many as 225 workers next year. The Fort Worth plant had been running at half capacity as demand for new locomotives waned due to a rail industry slump caused by reduced shipmentys of coal and oil. In February, GE Transportation laid off about 250 employees in Fort Worth.
Union workers in pennsylvania have accused the company of union-busting by shifting work from Erie to the non-union, lower-wage Fort Worth plant.
In a statement marking five years in Fort Worth, Richard Simpson, vice president and Global Supply Chain leader for GE Transportation, said the factory “has established itself as one of the most productive sites in our supply chain. In just five years, this team led the successful startup of this facility, delivered on our customer commitments and expanded the site’s capabilities.”
This article includes material from Bloomberg News and Star-Telegram archives.