General Electric in Belfort: local authorities ask the state 12 million euros

They demand compensation for the failure of the US group to comply with the 2014 agreement to buy Alstom’s energy business.

The city of Belfort, the agglomeration of Greater Belfort and the Department of Territoire de Belfort ask 12 million euros to the state, said Tuesday, October 15 the municipality.

These communities will file, this week, an administrative appeal to the Ministry of Economy to demand compensation for General Electric’s (GE) non-compliance with the agreement signed in 2014 on the purchase of Alstom’s energy business, said the mayor of Belfort, Damien Meslot (The Republicans), during a press conference.

Of the requested amount, 8.27 million euros are tax losses and 3.7 million euros of road refurbishment carried out for the transport of huge gas turbines. Damien Meslot said he was “ready to withdraw the appeal at any time if an agreement to preserve the job and the sustainability of the site is found” .

The French State has two months to respond to this appeal. If not, the three communities threaten to take the case to the administrative court.

To buy the premises of the group

The unions CFE-CGC and SUD have already before the Administrative Court of Paris in early September, denouncing the responsibility of the state in the non-compliance with this agreement. The text provided that the American industrialist creates a thousand jobs and maintains most gas turbine activities, as well as the global decision center for this activity on the Belfort site.

But GE, which employs some 4,300 employees in Belfort, including 1,800 in the gas turbine manufacturing unit, announced in May, a restructuring plan for the removal of nearly 1,050 jobs in France, including 792 in the belfortain site .

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Local authorities have also proposed to buy the current premises of the group, said Meslot. The operation would be carried out by the joint-stock company Tandem. It would rent in return the space needed by GE, which would save 750 000 euros of property taxes per year, explained the mayor. In return, he asked for 1,400 jobs to be maintained in the gas turbine manufacturing unit.

The production of GE’s gas activity in Belfort and Bourogne (Territoire de Belfort) has been blocked by striking employees for a week. A meeting between the Inter, the management and the Ministry of Economy is scheduled Tuesday afternoon in Bercy, to try to reach an agreement.

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