General Electric Co. (GE) dismissed as false a BusinessWeek magazine report that it plans 75,000 job cuts during the next two years. The magazine’s Feb. 12 edition, citing analysts who have spoken to GE executives, said some 50,000 of the cuts would come from GE’s $45-billion merger with Honeywell Intl. Inc. GE spokesman Gary Sheffer says while Chairman Jack Welch announced last month that significant layoffs were likely, the number has yet to be determined.

“The numbers being discussed are purely speculative, and because of that, inaccurate,” Sheffer adds. USA Today published a similar report last Friday, citing Wall Street analysts in reporting GE may lay off as many as 80,000 people following completion of the Honeywell merger. Together, GE and Honeywell currently employ about 460,000 people worldwide. The two companies reported last October that Honeywell’s Minneapolis headquarters would be closed as part of the merger and about 550 people there would lose their jobs.

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