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Employees Demonstrate To Pressure GE To Ramp Up Ventilator Production For Coronavirus

The union representing General Electric employees is calling on the company to use its resources and expand its capacity to manufacture ventilators in the wake of layoff announcements.

GE announced last week that it would lay off about 10% of its workforce, the union said. The union argues that those employees have skills necessary for creating ventilators, and that GE factories should be converted to accomplish that.

Workers protest several feet apart outside the GE Aviation facility in Lynn, Mass. (Courtesy: Adrianne Mathiowetz, IUE-CWA)
Workers protest several feet apart outside the GE Aviation facility in Lynn, Mass. (Courtesy: Adrianne Mathiowetz, IUE-CWA)

The union also called for enhanced health measure to protect workers who have been deemed essential.

In a statement, a company spokesman says, “GE is working around the clock to increase production of much-needed medical equipment. GE Healthcare has already doubled ventilator production capacity, with a plan to double it again by June, in addition to partnering with Ford Motor Company to further increase ventilator production."

A press release from Ford says it's partnering with GE Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators in Michigan in the next 100 days. Ford expects to produce 30,000 ventilators a month after that.

Some union employees marched — while maintaining 6 feet distance from each other — to the company's Boston headquarters Monday. Others held a silent protest outside the GE Aviation Facility in Lynn.

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Bruce Gellerman Twitter Senior Reporter
Bruce Gellerman is an award-winning journalist and senior correspondent, frequently covering science, business, technology and the environment.

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