State legislator asks to close GE Appliance Park

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A state representative has asked GE Appliance to cease operations until the current state of emergency has been lifted.

In a letter to GE Appliances President Kevin Nolan, Rep. Kevin Bratcher asked that he cease regular operations until the state of emergency is over. Bratcher, who represents part of Jefferson County, said the decision should be made “with an abundance of caution for the health and safety of your employees.”

Additionally, a local GE union president said he is exploring a possible strike at Appliance Park after the company’s “unwillingness to respond” to the coronavirus pandemic.

Union President Dean “Dino” Driskell said in a letter to union members that he and other chiefs were “greatly disappointed in the company” for just notifying employees in Building 3 of their possible exposure to coronavirus.

On March 31, GE Appliances announced one of its employees had a probably case, and that the building would be shut down for 48 hours to disinfect.

“This is irresponsible and reckless and they should be ashamed of themselves,” Driskell said. “We are pushing the company to respond to our demands and take this virus seriously park wide.”

In his memo, Driskell asked members to call Gov. Beshear and ask that he reconsider designating Appliance Park as essential.

“Surely our lives are more important than dishwashers,” Driskell said.

Driskell also said he and all chiefs are self-quarantining. GE Appliances, Driskell said, has refused paid leave.

WHAS11’s Paula Vasan has investigated the conditions inside Appliance Park, and spoken to employees who fear it is spreading. Read her story here.

RELATED: GE Appliance Park factory workers fear COVID-19 is spreading

RELATED: ‘Probable’ case of COVID-19 shuts down building at GE’s Appliance Park temporarily

RELATED: Many factory workers at GE Appliance Park want it closed amid COVID-19

►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users. 

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed