Posted at: 09/19/2013 6:20 PM
| Updated at: 09/19/2013 11:47 PM
By: John McLoughlin
The workers are angry and desperate and they plan to fight GE's decision to shut down its Fort Edward plant.
Meanwhile politicians in Washington and Warren counties are holding an emergency meeting on Friday to try to convince GE to stay.
On the record, at least, union officials claim there is still hope for changing the company's corporate mind but they are angry over GE's assertion that the Fort Edward capacitor plant simply cannot cut the mustard any more.
The president of the union insists publicly at least, that the 200 jobs here which paying on average $27 an hour, are not lost just yet.
“Maybe it's for nothing but we will fight this thing all the way,” says Scott Gates, the Union Local President.
Lunchtime at Maxwell's pub, it was topic number one.
“GE will never surprise me. It's all about greed,” said James Doyle, a local resident.
“It’s really sad, all the mills are closed and now the stores could close,” said Rebecca Cecota, another resident.
GE claims that it's not yet "for certain", but the company plans to shut down the Fort Edward Plant and shift the jobs to Clearwater, Florida, under claims Fort Edward no longer is competitive.
Under the union contract, there must now be a 60-day period where the union can make its case.
Local businesses already hurting from a big road project here, and the job losses could be disastrous.
"The economy in this town already is terrible, taxes are too high and you cannot afford to live here,” says Laura Roccasecca of Saluto’s Lounge.
The union claims that GE is simply looking for cheaper wages in Florida.
“It is a non-union state and it's already well known that GE does not like unions,” says Roccasecca.A spokesperson for GE denies that the move has anything to do with union busting. I asked her several times if it is true, as the union claims, that the plant still makes a profit, and several times she told me simply that it no longer is competitive, neither confirming nor denying the assertion about a profit.