The Fuller family, like many other GE families in Peterborough, are all feeling anxious right now. With the GE Plant here closing in Fall 2018 after 125 years in the community, Robert Fuller will be one of about 350 employees losing his job.
"I think our biggest fear is the unknown of what next year will bring when GE closes," his son Connor, 24, tells PTBOCanada. "What will my Dad do for work? How will our living situation change? How will GE compensate its employees? There's a lot of unanswered questions that I feel many families are thinking about right now."
Connor with his Dad, Robert
The Bridgenorth family—which also includes Connor's mother Kim (a bookkeeper at the Real Canadian Superstore in Peterborough), his sister Kaitlin and their family dog, Sadie—are in shock about the news of the plant closing, and Connor says his Dad doesn't know what he will do when he loses his well paid job and security.
"My father has worked there 27 years," Connor tells PTBOCanada. "He doesn't have a college education, so GE is all he knows. He'll be 53 when they close, so he's not old enough to retire, but too old to find a new job again."
Photo by Evan Holt
Both Connor and his sister Kaitlin still reside at home after their post secondary education and while both have careers—Connor as quality control technician for Publican House Brewery in Peterborough, his sister as a registered vet tech in Woodbridge, Ont., where she commutes—this has not alleviated the stress the family feels about making mortage payments.
"I don't know if we can afford to live in our house with my Dad's current salary getting taken away," says Connor. "Next fall will be very hard not just for us, but for every family affected by this."