General Electric has announced that it will shut down its Peterborough plant, which employs more than 350 people, in the fall of 2018.
“The action to cease manufacturing and service activities at Peterborough is difficult, but unfortunately necessary due to the continuing challenging and the overall under-utilization of sites,” a memo sent to employees stated.
Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett released a statement expressing concern for the workers and their families affected by the closure.
“It’s a drastic reversal from 2014 when GE announced that it would be adding up to 250 new jobs in Peterborough to build motors for the TransCanada Energy East pipeline, which has been delayed through the application process,” Bennett said in a statement.
“Instead, GE has had to reduce the size of its workforce in Peterborough over the last several years.”
Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal also expressed concern about the closure.
“I am committed to working with my colleagues and GE to ensure that employees have access to supports from the government and the company to find new jobs or access skills training as well as ensuring GE meets its obligations to its past and current employees,” he said.
MP Maryam Monsef said almost everyone in Peterborough has some connection to the long-standing plant.
“But beyond the symbolic loss, there are many families who have received very difficult news today, and these are the people that we need to keep in our hearts and minds in the coming days, weeks, and months,” Monsef stated.
The company said it will retain 50 workers once it shuts its doors and will provide employees with information on benefits programs and severance packages.
GE began operating in Peterborough in 1892.