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General Electric to cut 600 jobs in France: union

A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010. GE will release its third quarter earnings on Friday. REUTERS/Lu
A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010. GE will release its third quarter earnings on Friday. REUTERS/Lu

PARIS (Reuters) - General Electric is to cut 600 jobs in France, mostly at its finance arm, a union official said on Friday, as it seeks to cut back on the division's activities in the wake of the banking crisis.

Chief Executive Jeff Immelt is stepping up long-running efforts to reduce the size of the finance arm, GE Capital, and focus more on its other businesses. Chief Fiancial Officer Keith Sherin was recently appointed to run the division and oversee cutbacks.

"Some 600 jobs will be cut (in France) and the (consumer-finance arm) GE Money division will be the most hit, with 400 jobs cut and 17 out of 27 branches closed," SNB union head Regis Dos Santos said, adding that his union would oppose the plan.

A GE France spokesman confirmed that the company was preparing a job-cutting plan which was designed to adapt to the current business environment.

"These plans ... do not foresee closures of any business or industrial plant but instead only a cutback in activity," the spokesman said.

(Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Writing by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Keiron Henderson and Greg Mahlich)

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