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Although the U.S. company has invested some US$1.2 billion in France, it created only 25 net jobs between 2014 and 2018.
Workers filed a "class action" lawsuit against General Electric (GE) for failing to meet a commitment to create jobs that the U.S. company made when it bought the Villeurbanne energy company from the industrial group Alstom in 2014.
At the end of 2020, General Electric announced that it would cut some 300 jobs at its Villeurbanne plant. This possibility was accompanied by rumors of closure at the Saint-Priest plant, which triggered complaints from the unions.
The French workers' protests are taking place amid a "conflict of interest investigation" against Hugh Bailey, who worked as an advisor to Emmanuel Macron when he was Finance Minister between 2014 and 2016.
After participating in the sale of Alstom, Bailey was appointed head of GE's French division.