PARIS -- General Electric (IW 500/6) will cut about 600 jobs in France within a year, union and company sources said on Friday, a move that one trade union plans to context in court.

"We have counted 620 jobs that will disappear by the end of the year or during the first half of next year," said a union member who is part of a committee representing GE France workers, refusing to be named.

A spokesman for GE France -- which counts some 11,000 employees -- confirmed that the figure was "close to reality."

The spokesman, who would not give his name, said the job cuts -- most of which will be through voluntary redundancies -- were necessary on economic grounds to "protect competitiveness."

GE France's financial subsidiaries will be the most affected with 400 job cuts, said Regis Dos Santos, head of the National Union of Banking and Credit -- which represents bank and financial company workers.

He said these cuts were not justified as the group's activities in the financial sector are "viable."

Dos Santos added that his union plans to take one of the group's financial subsidiaries GE Money Bank, to court to protest the decision.

GE France has activities in areas as diverse as energy, healthcare, finance, rail transport and lighting.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013