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The Mapping Project

General Electric

General Electric (GE) is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Boston MA. GE designs and produces engines and other parts for Israeli warplanes and naval vessels, while providing broad support to the US military and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and contributing to the destruction of the environment in Massachusetts.

Support for the Israeli Military

AFSC Investigate reports: "General Electric engines are used in Israel’s primary air and naval military platforms, including T700-GE-701C engines in the UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters, F110-GE-129 engines for F-16 and F-15 fighter jets, the CH-53D/E engine in the CH-53 Heavy Lift helicopter, and T-700-GE-401C engines for the SH-60F Sea-Hawk helicopter. Additionally, a GE LM2500 gas turbine is used in Israel’s naval missile ship, the Sa’ar 5." AFSC Investigate further notes the GE "has provided Israel with gas turbines, jet engines, support services, aircraft propellers and components, a range of other engines, and other military accessories. GE provides continued technical services to the engines in use by the Israeli military."

AFSC Investigate further notes that Israeli F-16 warplanes, Apache helicopters, Sa’ar naval vessels, and other Israeli military systems equipped with GE engines have been used repeatedly in Israel's attacks in Palestine as well as in Lebanon, attacks which causes thousands of deaths and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. These include Israel's ground and aerial bombardment of Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and Israel's aerial bombardments of the Palestinian Gaza Strip in 2008-09, 2014, 2018, and 2021. (See: here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Support for the US Military and the US War on Migrants

To date, General Electric has raked in $40.27 billion from US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts for the provision of products and services to the US military, with $17.60 billion of this total deriving from GE's sales to the US Navy, $8.11 billion from sales to the US Army, $7.27 billion from sales to the US Air Force, and $6.99 billion from sales to the US Defense Logistics Agency. Recently in 2019, General Electric won a $517 million contract to supply T901 engines to the US Army's "next generation" of Black Hawk and Apache helicopters over the coming decades. In October 2021, General Electric won a $1.58 billion contract to be the sole provider of F110 engines for the US Air Force’s entire planned fleet of F-15EX warplanes. 

General Electric has also made $382.43 million to date through contracts with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). US DHS is the parent agency of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). DHS along with ICE and CBP carry out the federal government's violent regime of tracking, detention, and deportation of Black and Brown migrants. Amongst products GE has provided the US Department of Homeland Security are "radiation detectors for homeland security applications."

Profiteering and Environmental Degradation in Massachusetts

Through a transformer plant they operated in Pittsfield, MA from the 1930s through the late 1970s, General Electric has dumped an estimated 600,000 pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the nearby Housatonic River. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies PCBs as a "probable human carcinogen" which can cause a “multitude of serious adverse health effects." After decades of organizing and advocacy by Western MA community members harmed by the GE's decades-long pollution of the Housatonic River, GE was forced to agree to a series of settlements in which the company paid out tens of millions of dollars to multiple impacted municipalities and assumed responsibility for cleaning up its PCB contamination of the river. Residents in communities impacted by GE's environmental degradation have argued that GE's payouts and cleanups addressed only a fraction of the harm caused by the PCBs the company dumped into the river for four decades.

General Electric moved their corporate headquarters from Connecticut to the Seaport District of Boston in 2016, after local and state government officials offered GE $145 Million in city tax breaks and state grants to lure the company to select Boston over other potential sites for the HQ. GE's 2016 move to Boston was met by broad protests from Boston and Massachusetts community members representing causes ranging from housing justice, to environmental justice, to public education, to Palestine solidarity. Community members expressed outrage at the decision to give away $145 in city and state resources to a multinational conglomerate worth $260 billion which was responsible for war and occupation, environmental destruction, and general corporate profiteering, at a time when Boston and MA schools, social programs, and infrastructure remained underfunded.

In response to the economic downtown caused by the covid 19 pandemic, General Electric's Aviation branch announced the temporary layoffs of 50% of its aviation employees in March 2020. The company claimed that these temporary layoffs would "save the company $500 million to $1 billion in 2020." GE's layoffs prompted massive protests by workers at GE's Aviation facility in Lynn, MA, who demanded that GE keep workers on full-time and utilize the company's aviation machinery to manufacture ventilators, which were desperately-needed to treat seriously ill covid 19 patients, rather than of laying off GE workers while factories which could be producing such life saving medical equipment sat idle.

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