Stop already with the us vs them, U.S. vs Europe, GE vs Alstom. The fact is we are all suffering under the same systematic abuse of all the working stiffs by the Owners and Top Managers, who profit hugely on that suffering. We dedicate our lives to making good products, they use and abuse us like cattle. I was Alstom in Switzerland, and I can tell you that GE looks to us like a frigging clown show. As Sheen says to the Brando character in "Apocalypse Now," ..."I don't see any method at all." It's a mess, a very high pressure, exhausting mess, and one that clearly doesn't care anything at all about employees.
Guys, in Switzerland they targeted 1300 people, which was a big hit for us of over 20%. We did NOT staff up in any area I am aware of, since because of Alstom's sales weakness, we were not getting raises and not allowed to hire for about 2 yrs before the merger. In fact, we were losing people.
Yes, GE will use Switzerland as a tax haven. They will pull any tricksy deals everywhere in the world to get something for nothing. That's what they all do instead of focusing on making good products to sell to customers at a profit.
As for those "evil Europeans" who protect their industries, esp France, did anyone ever stop and think that maybe the European protection of their working people is what American SHOULD be doing, but we do not. France didn't WANT to pump government money into Alstom Power division to save it, but they also knew that GE would gut the workers in France as quickly as it could, so France made the best deal it could get to temporarily protect people. Wouldn't you expect your government to try to protect its people? It was making the best of a bad situation, though I think it would have been smarter to just buy it and make it French govt, with all the warts that implies. France runs on Alstom nuclear turbines.
So it's a long and complex story, and let's remember who the enemy is for ALL of us. Follow the money WHERE IT WENT, and it's not into the pockets of the European workers. We are all in this stinking mess together, including me. I got laid off too, from a very good job where I busted my a--.