GE Official: Over 300 layoffs likely coming to Lufkin, gear production moving to Europe

GE Official: Over 300 layoffs likely coming to Lufkin, gear production moving to Europe

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - More details are still emerging in the recent announcement of the restructuring of General Electric facilities in Lufkin.

GE External Affairs Leader Lindsey Benton said the restructuring plans that were announced on Tuesday will likely  result in the reduction of more than 300 jobs in Angelina County. Gear production will also be on the move.

"We intend to keep a focus on service excellence here in Lufkin and the production of new gear boxes will transition to existing facilities in Europe," Benton said in an email.

On Wednesday it was learned that GE Oil & Gas plans to put its Buck Creek facility on the market after the company cleans up the facility, according to a City of Lufkin official.

Steve Floyd, Lufkin's assistant city manager said Wednesday morning, that the clean-up at the facility will take place after GE Oil & Gas moves all of its Buck Creek operations to its location in downtown Lufkin.

Along those lines, GE Oil & Gas released a statement to East Texas News explaining the company's latest decision.

"We constantly review our operations in order to remain competitive and continue to meet the needs of our customers," the statement said. "It's becoming clear that this will be a 'lower for longer' environment. As a result, we are announcing our intent to consolidate our manufacturing operations in Cullman, AL and across Lufkin, TX and have begun holding discussions with stakeholders and employees. We anticipate this restructuring will result in workforce reductions."

Floyd said Tuesday that GE officials told him the Buck Creek operations will be moved to the downtown area, where the company's operations will focus on gear repair.

Floyd said the plant in Cullman will be closed, which affects 30 workers. Dale Greer with the Cullman County Economic Development confirmed the closure.

The statement went on to say that GE Oil & Gas' leadership knows how hard this decision will be on the Lufkin community.

"This decision is in no way a negative reflection of our workforce," the statement said. "We have to make the best decisions for the long-term health of the business."

Timeline of recent Lufkin Industries/ GE events:

* 2002 -  Lufkin Industries takes over Cullman Plant in Alabama.

*2013 - Lufkin shareholders approve merger with GE

*November 2014 - GE announces a $60M investment to Foundry

*January 2015 - GE announces layoffs. Economic board backs out of Foundry Investment deal.

*July 2015 - GE interested in selling Foundry.

*August 2015 - GE announces closing of Foundry resulting in the loss of 176 jobs.

*March 2016 - GE announces cutting back 30 wielding jobs.

*May 2016 - GE announces restructuring of Lufkin facilities.

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