GE Aviation since March has laid off 558 full-time employees and 47 part-time workers in Cincinnati and related sites, the company said in a WARN notice to Ohio government.
There have been Dayton-area layoffs, as well, a spokesman for GE Aviation confirmed with the Dayton Daily News Wednesday, but he said the Dayton layoff numbers have not risen to the level that would require a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act) letter to the state of Ohio.
Given how the global pandemic has harmed the global aviation industry, the layoff notice is not a surprise, but it shows how dramatically fortunes have changed for the company, which had a 15,000-engine backlog as recently as 2017.
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“These actions are consistent with previously-announced plans to reduce our workforce due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the commercial aviation industry,” GE said in a statement. “We appreciate the commitment of all our employees during this difficult time, and we regret having to take this action. We remain focused on protecting the safety of our employees, continuing to serve our customers, and preserving our capability to respond as the industry recovers.”
The notice only applied to GE Aviation’s main campus in Cincinnati, GE Aviation spokesman Perry Bradley said.
There have been layoffs in GE’s Beavercreek Unison location, Bradley also said, but he said GE is not detailing layoffs by location or offering numbers by location at the moment.
GE Aviation has traditionally been a huge employer in Ohio and the Dayton area.
Considered at one time Ohio’s largest manufacturing employer, GE Aviation makes commercial and military jet engines and parts, and before the COVID-19 pandemic, it had more than 9,000 employees in Southwest Ohio, including its plant in Evendale.
The GE Aviation EPISCenter on the University of Dayton campus researches electrical power in aviation uses. In recent years, there were about 335 GE Aviation employees in Vandalia and about 1,600 total employees at three Dayton-area sites — including Unison Industries Dayton in Beavercreek and TDI-GE Aviation, also in Vandalia.
Earlier this year, in the pandemic’s wake, GE announced that it would reduce its global workforce by 25 percent.
In general, a WARN notice is required when a business with 100 or more full-time workers is laying off at least 50 people at a single site of employment.