GE Power to close Chattanooga Alstom plants, lay off 235

The Alstom plant on Riverfront Parkway in downtown Chattanooga is seen Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2015.
photo The Alstom plant in on Riverfront Parkway in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., is seen Tuesday, Feb. 1., 2015.
photo Alstom Power has sold a large tract off Riverfront Parkway that once held wind tower maker Aerisyn. This file photo shows the large white manufacturing bays along with tower segments stored on the parcel. The blue bays are Alstom's turbomachinery plant.

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GE Power plans to shut the Chattanooga Alstom facilities it recently acquired and lay off about 235 employees, the company announced today.

The company will close the Steam Turbine Manufacturing facility, the Boiler Service Center, and the Materials Technology Center, said spokesman Katie Roberts Jackson.

"This planned action, while extremely difficult, is viewed as necessary to allow GE to manage costs and capacity in a very competitive market," the company said in a statement.

GE said it has about 50 Chattanooga employees in engineering, commercial and other functions who are not impacted by the action.

"These are very difficult decisions and this plan is in no way a negative reflection of GE's Chattanooga workforce," the company said. "GE will provide comprehensive benefits to assist impacted employees through this transition, and the company is prepared to bargain with the local unions concerning the impact of this plan on represented employees, including subjects of severance pay and group insurance."

Alstom previously cut 100 jobs at its boiler plant in February 2015. In March of that year, it sold a tract of land adjacent to its plant for $3.5 million.

Since Alstom failed to meet the job creation promises - creating 300 new jobs by Dec. 31, 2014 - of a tax incentive package granted by Chattanooga and Hamilton County, officials demanded that it pay the property taxes that were waived. Alstom's tax breaks for 2014 totaled some $2 million.

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.