Alstom Furloughs Workers Among Push For Industry Changes

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Updated: 2/03/2014 11:44 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) Alstom is furloughing 335 workers during the month a March because of sluggish sales or its equipment, but there may be another reason.

They have been aware that the furloughs were coming. The Vice President of Marketing and Communications with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, Jed Marston, said there is a direct reason for this.

“This isn’t entirely unexpected, said Marston. “These jobs are directly related to the coal-fired power generation industry.”

It is an industry that’s been on decline for a few years. The push for cleaner energy has been something that even President Barak Obama has wanted.

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Assistant Professor in Biological and Environmental Sciences, David Aborn, said there is a switch in the industry.

“There’s been a push for a while now to move away from coal, which is the most polluting of the fossil fuels,” said Aborn.

So by creating less pollution and moving to cleaner energy, could this mean a permanent termination of jobs in the near future? One person said no.

Aborn said, “It just may mean that they need to be retrained so that they can work in the new industry.”

Once the furlough period is over, a total of five jobs will actually be cut here in Chattanooga.

Marston doesn’t believe that this will impact the local economy.
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