General Electric faces fines in France for not creating pledged jobs

US corporation General Electric faces fines of 50,000 euros for every job it promised but has failed to create after its purchase in 2014 of the energy arm of French engineering company Alstom, labour minister Muriel Penicaud has said.

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France is threatening to take the unusual step of fining General Electric if it fails to create a set number of jobs in the country, reports BBC News.

It is claimed the US industrial giant will renege on a pledge to produce 1,000 new jobs by the end of the year.

The labour minister Muriel Penicaud said GE would face a 50,000-euros penalty for every job not created.

The move could be a test of President Emmanuel Macron's bid to push through more business-friendly policies.

GE had committed to create a net 1,000 new jobs by the end of this year when it bought the energy business of France's Alstom in 2014. The US company was in competition for Alstom with Siemens of Germany.

But GE had created only 323 jobs by the end of April, the finance ministry said last week.

GE chief executive John Flannery informed French finance minister Bruno Le Maire last week that the target was now "out of reach" because of difficult market conditions.

The minister urged GE to "take all necessary measures to comply to the best of its abilities".

On Sunday, Ms Penicaud went further, telling BFM television: "The [Alstom] contract called for a 50,000-euro penalty for every job not created."

And, according to Reuters, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, added: "Sanctions must set an example. 50,000 euros should be applied by the end of the year if GE does not stick to its commitments."

While the sums involved are small for a company the size of GE – perhaps a total maximum of 34 million euros – the move runs counter to the government's bid to liberalise labour markets.

Mr Macron, a former investment banker, has vowed to make France more attractive to foreign companies, pushing through reforms to make it easier for businesses to hire and fire workers.

Read more of this report from BBC News.

 

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