The daily business briefing: March 31, 2020

General Electric employees on Monday started protests calling for the company to convert their jet engine factories to produce ventilators needed for treating coronavirus patients. Workers at GE’s Lynn, Massachusetts, aviation facility stood silently, six feet apart. Union members at the company’s Boston headquarters marched, also practicing social distancing, and called for the company to start making ventilators at the shuttered aviation factories. The protests followed GE’s announcement that it would lay off 10 percent of its domestic aviation workforce, firing nearly 2,600 people, and temporarily send home 50 percent of its maintenance workers, saving up to $1 billion. GE and Ford, working in cooperation, already plan to produce 50,000 ventilators over 100 days at a Ford plant in Michigan. [Vice, Reuters]

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