GE in Massachusetts is good corporate citizen
To the editor:
Your Jan. 30 editorial, "GE personifies corporate greed, arrogance" grossly mischaracterizes GE and how we operate in the communities where we work. We want to correct the record on behalf of the hard-working men and women of GE, including the approximately 5,000 employees that live and work in Massachusetts.
With over 136,000 employees, GE is one of the largest job creators in the country. In 2014 the entire GE family contributed $200 million and volunteered 1 million hours to community and educational programs. We also work with and generate business for over 1,000 suppliers in Massachusetts. Last year we paid millions in taxes in Massachusetts, $1 billion in U.S. state, local and federal tax, and $3 billion in income taxes — including in the U.S. GE pays taxes. It is simply inaccurate to claim that we do not.
In Massachusetts, we remain committed to a solution for the Housatonic that is fully protective of human health and the environment and avoids unnecessary destruction of the surrounding ecosystem. We have already spent $500 million cleaning the river and have repeatedly stated that we will undertake the right dredging project. We are working with EPA to do just that.
GE's recent job actions in Massachusetts will increase employment, not decrease it. In addition to the 800 jobs coming to Boston with our new headquarters, GE Healthcare announced last year that it would create 220 new jobs and invest $21M in its Life Sciences headquarters in Marlborough. Restructuring in Lynn is due to the end of the design cycle for a number of major projects, not a declining business.
We moved our headquarters to Boston because it is a growing technology hub. GE is leading the digital transformation of industry. Relocating to Boston gives us the opportunity to be more technology-focused, surrounded by universities, investors and a strong business community. Like GE, Boston is focused on innovation and together we will work to create long-term economic vitality for the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is investing in its own infrastructure for the future.
We want to be a part of a constructive dialogue about GE's role in our communities, but it is important that our neighbors have an accurate view of our values and our record.