LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - "The position of General Electric at this time is that they do not comment on speculative press reports." That was the message from former Mayor Jerry Abramson six years ago. Now, the community is hearing the same thing from Mayor Greg Fischer following news that GE's appliance business may be up for sale. A report that is leaving thousands of local workers nervous.
"Concerned. They're very concerned right now," said Jerry Carney, the President of IUE-CWA Local 83761.
A Bloomberg article released Wednesday cited anonymous sources saying the electronics giant is in talks with potential buyers.
"This is something that they've looked at for several years now," Bloomberg reporter and author of the article, David Welch said.
We tracked Welch down to find out how credible a possible sale is.
"Whether or not they get a deal done remains to be seen. But it's on the block," he said.
In 2008, GE tried to sell but there were no takers. The country was in the midst of a recession.
Since then, GE bought into the park investing a $1 billion, opening a new manufacturing plant at Appliance Park and expanding its workforce to 6,000.
Many of the newer employees had been through layoffs before.
"A lot of them come from places that closed down, and a lot of them come from, you know, they went a long time in this recession without a job," Carney said.
The company spends $370 million on payroll a year in Louisville. The site stretches over 900 acres and even has its own zip code. Carney said he is telling workers not to panic, "I told them to stay calm and wait until an announcement happens."
But Carney is stepping down. His last day on the job will be Monday. He said the move has been in the works for months and has nothing to do with the latest news, but his departure may add to the nervousness for workers.
The Bloomberg story doesn't mention what companies may be interested.
"It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. And look, if they don't get the price they want, then maybe they don't sell it," Welch said.
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