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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Cumbrian factory closes but nearly half the workers have yet to find new jobs

The Indorama factory in Workington has finally closed its doors – but nearly half the staff have yet to find new jobs.

Indorama photo
Indorama

The 79 workers at the Siddick site, who are mainly from the local area, were hit with the shock news last year that it was to close.

The News & Star can reveal that power to the plant has now been isolated and that just three members of staff remain at the factory to complete the “mothball” process which will take place over the next few months.

Another five workers are working on a week-to-week basis to assist. But 33 of those who worked at the site remain unemployed. Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham said: “It is a blow to the economy and there are a lot of people who have worked there for many years.”

The Thai firm’s vice president, Richard Jones, said the company has been working with Britain’s Energy Coast, Workington Trades Hall and other employers to “facilitate training and employment opportunities”.

“Nearly all professional staff have found employment,” he added. “Many operational staff have found jobs or been shortlisted for jobs in the local area,” he said.

Indorama has helped 10 of those people secure new jobs, with a further 28 finding employment themselves.

“Our efforts to place people have not ceased, and more employees have been interviewed by NNL and by Sellafield Ltd and are still awaiting a decision. A few are likely to seek early retirement,” added Mr Jones. Production at the site stopped in January and the power was isolated on Tuesday morning.

Some work is continuing in order to “mothball the site in an environmentally acceptable manner,” added Mr Jones.

He confirmed the work was almost complete, but could not give an exact date when it would be finished.

Indorama Ventures Limited, which is based in Bangkok, blamed “current market conditions” which make continued production of PET at the plant “untenable”.

Indorama acquired the Workington factory from Eastman Chemical Company in 2008.

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