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GE Plans To Close Bloomington Plant, Cut 300 Jobs

Rafael Castillo

GE Appliances announced Wednesday it plans to close a Bloomington plant that employs 329 people. The decision comes after GE says demand for side-by-side refrigerators made at the facility declined 76 percent since 2008.

The closure is subject to negotiations with the union, which could start this week. If GE and the union reach an agreement, the company estimates about 94 percent of the affected employees will be eligible for retirement. All employees will receive a benefits package.

During union negotiations last year, workers asked for stronger plant closing benefits.

“This proposal in no way is a reflection of the quality of this workforce, which is excellent,” General Manager of Operations Frank Scheffel said in a statement. “The unfortunate reality that we’ve lived with for a very long time is that fewer consumers want to buy the products we make here.”

GE hasn’t announced a timeline for the plant closure. The company is working with the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana Department Of Workforce Development to try finding job placements for workers.

GE laid off 131 workers in 2013 because of declining refrigerator sales.

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