Labour and the Corporate Economy

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 1477 .... September 4, 2017

Labour and the Corporate Economy:
General Electric Ends 128 Years in Peterborough

George Hewison

General Electric (GE) is moving out of Peterborough. It leaves the town, the county, Ontario and Canada with an enormous mess. One of the world’s largest conglomerates has become the poster child for a sick corporate citizen in a sick economic system. It’s not just about leaving hundreds of former workers dead or dying of cancer after having literally given their last breath to the company.

We’re not referring to the 21 acre property in the heart of the "Electric City" that the Company has occupied for over a century with many saying the soil underneath is so contaminated that remediation is going to cost a fortune. It’s all of... that and much more. General Electric, that now heads out of town for greener pastures, is a symptom of all that is wrong with the political economy of Canada and a system predicated, when all is said and done, solely on profitability and the corporate bottom line.

Last week, General Electric, the company, which counts Thomas Edison as one of its founders, sent a "Dear John" notice to its last three hundred and fifty plus employees.

Naturally, the employees and the community are in shock. The Union will be meeting with the Company to discuss severance, re-training and other negotiated shut-down protocols while the community will be investigating other options for jobs -- in a community that has been vying for the title of Canada’s unemployment capital.

It is a familiar, but no less painful, story for Canadians and their communities.

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