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Workers protest Indiana GE cuts

– Dozens of GE Appliances workers protested at a refrigerator factory where the company plans to cut 160 jobs after not making a multimillion-dollar investment it announced three years ago.

Some employees from the Bloomington factory carried signs Thursday with messages such as “GE Lied” and “Say No to Corporate Greed.”

The rally was held a couple weeks after GE announced plans to cut about a third of the jobs at the plant, which makes side-by-side refrigerators. The company blames the layoffs on a 30-plus-percent drop in sales of those refrigerators since 2010.

Protesters think workers who could be eligible for early retirement are being treated unfairly, rally organizer Bill Fairbairn told The Herald-Times.

“The issue is how many can retire, who can retire,” Fairbairn said. “And we feel there’s a manipulation of how they’re going to offer those retirements.”

GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman said union and company officials were working to determine which workers are eligible for different retirement packages.

“The thing is, when you’ve got a company in Bloomington that’s already losing millions and millions of dollars a year, there’s just not a lot of money,” Freeman said.