U.S. Sen. Brown urges GE to keep lights on a Warren, Ravenna plants Tribune Chronicle

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is urging General Electric officials to make new investments at its lamp plants in Warren and Ravenna rather than close the two facilities, which the bulb maker announced last week it planned to do in early 2014.

In a letter Brown released Thursday, he tells GE Lighting CEO Maryrose Sylvester that the company can build on the success of its decision to bring jobs back to the U.S. by bringing new lighting production to the two facilities.

GE could enhance its Ohio lighting portfolio while also capitalizing on the great assets that Ohio workers have to offer, Brown said.

The workers in Warren and Ravenna are second to none in quality, productivity and efficiency, and they have demonstrated time after time their commitment to the company, Brown said. I am confident that if given the opportunity, the Ohio workers could smoothly transition toward making the next generation of energy efficient lighting products.

The Jan. 24 announcement to close the facilities in Warren and Ravenna is being blamed on a decline in demand for the products made at the plants.

In Warren, 198 full-time workers will be displaced. In Ravenna, according to a report in the Record Courier in Portage County, the impact would be felt by 164 workers.

At both facilities, a number of employees would be eligible for retirement or a plant closing pension option. The remaining workers would be eligible for preferential placement at up to 10 other GE locations. Displaced workers would be eligible for severance, tuition reimbursement for retraining and a health benefit extension.