The union that represents laid-off workers at GE Aviation wants to be called back to work to build ventilators.
GE announced a week ago that it would cut 10% of the staff at GE Aviation, which makes jet engines. The company said that it would also cut hours for half of its maintenance, repair and overhaul employees for 90 days.
The Communications Workers of America announced Monday that union leaders would march on GE headquarters urging the company to use the affected employees to make much needed ventilators to help battle the coronavirus outbreak.
"These union members have the skills required to make the ventilators that states are desperate for," said the union.
GE said has already doubled production of the ventilators that its medical unit makes, and plans to double it again by the end of June. In addition it partnering with Ford to further increase production. It said its aviation facilities are still open and working and can not be converted to make ventilators, despite the cutbacks in jobs there. It is hiring at its ventilator factories to have work there go around the clock.
"We continue to explore additional opportunities to support the fight against COVID-19, while continuing to support mission-critical work for our customers as well," said GE in a statement.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated which companies GE was partnering with to make ventilators.