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Last Day For 131 Bloomington GE Employees

GE is laying off 131 employees at its Bloomington plant because of a drop in demand for the company's side-by-side refrigerators.

GE invested $93 million in the Bloomington plant in 2010 to create side-by-side refrigerators.

Photo: Ashley Lee

GE invested $93 million in the Bloomington plant in 2010 to create side-by-side refrigerators.

Today was the last day of work for 131 employees at Bloomington’s General Electric plant.

Officials are blaming the layoffs on slipping sales of side-by-side refrigerators.

Three years ago the plant was facing closure. Company officials decided instead to invest 161 million dollars to make improvements to the Bloomington factory and begin manufacturing energy efficient refrigerators.

But GE officials say sales of those refrigerators dropped 30 percent after they made their decision.

GE announced last month it would lay off 160 workers. Ultimately about 30 fewer employees ended up losing their jobs.

“This is a very sad time,” says  GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman. “We appreciate all of our employees, and all of their hardworking dedication. And we are very sorry to see them leave.”

Freeman says laid off workers will get preferential placement in other GE locations and will be given health care benefits for another year.

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