GE to furlough 50% of U.S. engine assembly, component manufacturing ops staff

FILE PHOTO: The logo of U.S. conglomerate General Electric is seen on the company building in Belfort, France, October 19, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

(Reuters) - General Electric Co GE.N said on Thursday it would furlough about half its workers in the U.S. engine assembly and component manufacturing operations, a move that would affect thousands of employees, as the coronavirus pandemic hurts travel demand.

The furloughs will be in addition to the about 2,600 U.S. job cuts announced last month by GE's aviation unit, which makes engines for Boeing Co BA.N and Airbus SE AIR.PA aircraft.

“Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the commercial aviation industry, GE aviation is implementing a temporary reduction...for up to four weeks,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The unit employed about 52,000 people globally as of 2019.

GE’s shares fell as much as 3.1% in afternoon trading.

(This story corrects typo in the headline.)

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli