On Monday, General Electric (GE) factory workers held demonstrations at two different plants, with the demand that the company use its aviation factories to produce ventilators. This came after GE announced massive layoffs, in order to save the company up to $1 billion.
One worker in Kansas, whose plant suffered a 52% layoff rate, said several football fields’ worth of space was sitting idle, and could be better used for ventilator production. “If GE trusts us to build, maintain, and test engines which go on a variety of aircraft where millions of lives are at stake, why wouldn’t they trust us to build ventilators?” he said.
GE states it must consider the needs of its other customers, like the U.S. military, before it changes the type of products its factories makes. This just shows the difference in values between the bosses and the workers. While workers are ready and willing to switch production to ensure much needed ventilators are supplied, the bosses would rather lay off workers and leave factory space empty to save money. The priorities of each couldn’t be more obvious.
Featured image credit: The Boston Globe