Midget's CFL offer discussion topic reminded me of the sad news I heard recently.
Last Friday GE closed their 455,000-square-foot plant on 57 acres in Winchester, VA - and the last 200 workers there will lose their jobs.
The plant closing was triggered by Washington lawmakers’ action that bans ordinary incandescent bulbs by 2014, forcing replacement mainly with compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs.
What you may not realize is that these small glass spiral-twisted CFL tubes are made overseas. So the lost U.S. jobs will not be recovered in manufacturing the new bulbs. One by one, GE light bulb plants have closed down across the country this year as the company moves to production of the more expensive compact fluorescents with cheap labor overseas.
You may also have noticed that disposing of the new bulbs presents a new environmental problem. Opponents of CFLs cite the use of mercury in the bulbs, which can cause problems when they shatter. It seems that in the name of going "green" we are creating a new waste hazard.
GE officials say the market for incandescent bulbs has declined by half over the past five years. Some of Winchester's products that are exempt from the legislation, such as three-way bulbs and appliance bulbs, will be consolidated at GE Lighting's plant in Monterrey, Mexico.
Truth is, 85 percent of light bulbs sold in America are still traditional incandescent bulbs. Because they are cheaper. Because CFLs don’t last as long as advertised. And because CFLs are hard to dispose of. Which means consumers will be in for a rude awakening in 2014.