Laid-off GE Lighting China workers ‘may protest over payouts’

Some workers laid off from General Electric (GE) Lighting China are expected to protest over compensation next week following the company’s decision to pull out of the Asian and Latin American markets, a mainland newspaper reported on Thursday.

GE Lighting, which accounts for about 7 per cent of the conglomerate’s income, announced it would withdraw from the markets on November 30.

Shanghai-based newspaper China Business News quoted one company source as saying: “There are about 100 employees working at GE Lighting’s Shanghai headquarters now, with hundreds of others at its branches in Beijing, Nanjing, Chongqing and other major Chinese cities.”

The report said some of the retrenched workers were not satisfied with severance payments and might stage a protest in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Shanghai.

GE China said on Thursday that its decision to pull out of the lighting business in China was a ­difficult one and had “absolutely nothing to do with the job performance of our China team”.

“We have offered all our Chinese employees compensation packages that are higher than the country’s mandatory standards and there is no differentiation between levels,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“We have reached agreements with most of our China employees as well as alternative job offers for some within the company,” it said.

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