General Electric to close Swiss site putting 436 jobs at risk

GE has been reducing its Swiss footprint in recent years. In 2018 GE Power announced that it wanted to cut 1,200 out of its 4,500 positions. © Keystone / Urs Flueeler

GE Grid Solutions, a unit of the American conglomerate General Electric (GE), will cease operations at its Oberentfelden site as part of a restructuring plan. 

This content was published on September 11, 2020 - 13:56

Some 436 posts are affected by the US giant’s decision to pull the plug on its Oberentfelden facility in northern Switzerland. The plant produces equipment for electrical grids. The final decision on job cuts will be taken after consultations with the European Works Council (EWC) and the employees in Switzerland.  

GE Grid Solutions intends to retain 57 jobs in Switzerland in research and development, marketing and services related to the residual activities in Switzerland. 

The restructuring is in response to the difficulties in the market for gas-insulated switchgear and GE Grid's need to consolidate its production sites, according to a press release issued on Friday. The market for gas-insulated switchgear suffers from significant overcapacity, which has caused prices to fall by 40% since their peak in 2008, according to calculations by GE Grid Solutions.  

Asian manufacturers have contributed to this plunge, according to the company.  

In June 2018, GE Power - another unit of the American group - announced that it wanted to cut 1,200 out of its 4,500 positions in Switzerland. In June 2019, the group announced the elimination of 450 additional jobs at its Birr and Baden sites in canton Aargau but without ceasing operations there. 

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