- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - GE Appliances says it plans to close its Bloomington refrigerator plant, eliminating its 329 remaining jobs.

The company announced the planned closing Wednesday, citing demand for the side-by-side refrigerators manufactured at the plant that has fallen by 76 percent since 2008. It says the plant is scheduled to operate only 22 weeks this year.

The closing is subject to negotiations with Local 2249 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents the plant’s 301 hourly workers. The company says 94 percent of all employees would be eligible to retire with comprehensive pension and health coverage, severance based on length of service, preferential hiring rights at other GE plants, and other benefits.

GE eliminated about 130 jobs at the plant in 2013 through layoffs and early retirements.

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