“Shameful” and “delusional”. The $ 47 million bonus promised to the CEO of General Electric was denounced on Tuesday, January 5, by unions and elected officials from Villeurbanne and Belfort, two cities affected by job cuts within the American group. “At the start of the year, it is a form of insult to employees who are fighting to safeguard their jobs at the same time as unique and forward-looking know-how”, wrote the mayor of Villeurbanne Cédric Van Styvendael (PS) in a press release co-signed with Senator Gilbert-Luc Devinaz.“A shame when we are told that we have to lay off thousands of employees and relocate strategic activities to find a healthy financial situation!”, also denounced on Twitter a CGT delegate of the staff of the GE site in Villeurbanne, Serge Paolozzi.
Larry Culp’s bonus had already provoked the ire of American unions at the end of December. The boss of GE is guaranteed to receive a bonus of nearly $ 47 million which could even reach the staggering amount of $ 230 million if the boss of GE manages to achieve financial goals yet particularly low, according to documents sent to the gendarme American Stock Exchange, the SEC, and consulted by AFP.
Same indignation on the historic site of the American giant in Belfort: “It’s totally outrageous and delusional”, was thus carried away Philippe Petitcolin, CFE-CGC representative of the French gas turbine entity of General Electric, during a press conference Tuesday. “Larry Culp guaranteed his financial future” while that of employees “has never been so uncertain”. The president of the departmental council of the Territory of Belfort, Florian Bouquet, for his part judged “inadmissible” of “pay such a bonus even as thousands of families suffer from job cuts”.
“Everyone has to make an effort, including Larry Culp”, added Nadine Boux, elected union CFE-CGC within GE Hydro in Grenoble, present at the press conference in Belfort. “We reward this CEO for his failure” while the company “is heavily in debt” and “the departure conditions of the licensees” are done with “paltry sums”, castigates the union representative.
GE announced in the spring a plan to save $ 2 billion through the elimination of 13,000 jobs. In France, the Belfort and Villeurbanne sites are particularly concerned. On December 18, an agreement to save some of the jobs was found on the Villeurbannais site after a month of strike action. The striking employees will be able to share a fund of support open on the internet, the amount of which capped at 16,715 euros on Tuesday.