United States

United States

PTC uncertainty forces temporary Gamesa job cuts

UNITED STATES: Gamesa is to issue temporary furloughs to up to 165 workers at its production facilities in Pennsylvania.

US president Barack Obama... speaking at the Fairless Hills plant in April last year  (pic Gamesa)
US president Barack Obama... speaking at the Fairless Hills plant in April last year (pic Gamesa)

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According to reports in the Pennsylvania regional press, Gamesa vice president for marketing in the US, David Rosenburg said he hoped the layoffs would only last for 10 weeks. The furloughs are set to begin in early September.

In a statement, Gamesa said: "Gamesa is temporarily adjusting production capacity to reflect current U.S. market conditions related to uncertainty over the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC).

"We consider these furloughs to be a temporary action necessitated by market situations that have the entire U.S. wind industry. It is the industrial logic."

The furloughs will affect the Fairless Hills nacelle plant, near Philadelphia, and the Ebensburg blade plant in Cambria County.

This is not the first time Gamesa has temporarily laid off staff in Pennsylvania. In 2009 Gamesa cut 79 workers but brought them back when the recovery and investment act was brought in.

Pre-2010, Gamesa had around 1,200 workers in its nacelle and blade factories in the state. However, in that year it made two rounds of jobs cuts totalling around 320.

At the time the company blamed it on the economic crisis, prompting over 180 layoffs for workers at the Philadelphia nacelle plant and over 140 more at the blade factory.

Gamesa has also made job cuts in its Spanish home market this year. However, its capacity in the actually runs parallel to a global staff increase. Its head count rose from 4629 in 2010 to 4853 in 2011.

That is "mainly due to increased service and technology activities", the company told Windpower Monthly. Those activities back the company's capacity expansion and new products abroad, including new factories in Brazil and India.

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