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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Bosses of Cumbrian factory deny closure rumours

Workers at a Cumbrian factory have been challenged to come up with ideas to beat off tough competition from its Asian rivals.

Indorama photo
Indorama

Bosses at Workington’s Indorama have denied rumours on social networking sites that the Siddick plant is to close by Christmas.

The closure claims were sparked following a meeting held between management and the plant’s 78-strong workforce this week.

Following this meeting, workers took to Twitter and Facebook, claiming that the factory was to stop production and could close as early as December.

However, Richard Jones, head of investor relations and corporate communications at Indorama Ventures Plc, said that the threat of closure was “never mentioned” at the meeting and that the only reason it took place was to inform workers of the start of a 45-day consultation, as the company was facing “quite a lot of challenges.”

“We are really facing a tough time from all of these imports from all over the world and we want to work with employees to see what the best path to go forward is – it’s a two-way consultation,” he said.

“Management has suggested a meeting during the first part of September to gather the input of the consultation process, to enable review of the options raised.

“We want to consult on what can be done to make the plant more competitive and if there are any reasonable paths to improve the facility’s outlook, and to see what the best path is to go forward.

“This is all we want to do at present and have made this clear at the meetings.”

Mr Jones said at the moment there was an “oversupply” of PET – plastic polymer – which the Workington factory produces 168,000 tonnes of a year of.

“Things in Asia are building up,” he added.

“The European Union market is actually opening up to these Asian players.

“We have to consult with the workers about what are the reasonable paths to improve the outlook for the Workington facility,” said Mr Jones.

“We want to consult them on what they think following all of the increased costs and a lot of competition. We want to see what the best path forward is.”

The Siddick site was bought in 2008 by Thailand’s Indorama Ventures from Eastman Chemicals.

At time of the purchase Aloke Lohia, chairman of Indorama Holdings, said that the factories would add more flexibility and reliability to its business and would help it better serve customers across Europe.

Have your say

Ref.article update 6/9/2013

As the details slowly emerge about the situation at Indorama Polymers Workington it is becoming very clear that this plant IS due to close, exactly as was said by many employees who attemded the original information meetings, with the first of the redundancies being scheduled for March of 2014 at the latest.
The lack of honesty and integrity shown by the management of this company will come as quite a shock to many members of the public following this situation, however to all those employed at the Workington site this is just another in a long line of insults delivered to a very loyal and hard working workforce who have always achieved the goals that were set and often exceeded expectations to get the job done, and never receiving a simple thank you.
Never has it been mentioned that the over supply of Polymer is partly due to Indorama opening a huge expansion at their Rotterdam plant and moving orders from Workington to that plant, resulting in imminent closure of Workington.
The impact is not just financial to all employees, contractors and subcontractors at Workington, but the physiological effects of the constant denial and avoidance of stating the facts as they stand is enormous, to continually state the factory is not to close and has a future when we have all seen documents clearly setting out the way production will cease and employees finished over 3 phases, is totally unacceptable.
Many of this work force have young families and are in a very difficult situation with mortgages and other financial committments and to keep providing them with false hope is totally inhumane, we all need to know where we stand and start to make plans for our futures, we need to know what the redundancy figures will be when each individual will finish and what help if any will be given to assist employees finding work elsewhere.
The majority of the employees have had 20 / 25 yrs service surely the 'management' need to finallty show some respect and step up to the mark and say it as it is and stop with this charade, we have all had enough.

Posted by R E Dundant on 8 September 2013 at 15:20

If you want British jobs to go to British workers then you know who to vote for.

Posted by GA on 24 August 2013 at 01:06

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