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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Uncertain future for workforces at Cumbrian factories

Around 70 per cent of a factory’s workforce still face a troubled future as they continue to look for new jobs following the shock announcement the plant is to close by March.

 Tata Steel logo

Workington’s troubled Indorama polymer plant, which employs 79 people, announced it was to be mothballed late last year. Since then employees at the Siddick site, who are mainly from the local area.

Meanwhile, dozens of workers at Workington’s Tata Steel copper foundry plant – a site formally occupied by Ogden & Lawson – are still in limbo.

At Indorama, the Thai firm has now revealed that it is still working with 56 employees to try and find them alternative employment. Six workers resigned before the end of consultation, 12 people have found new jobs, one employee is to be retained indefinitely with the company and another four on a temporary basis.

Richard Jones, the company’s head of investor relations and corporate communications, said: “The process is ongoing and we intend to continue assisting our people to find employment.”

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

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

Tata announced just before Christmas that 75 jobs are at risk at the plant on the Salterbeck Trading Estate. The firm is yet to reveal the exact numbers of employees to be axed. A spokesman said: “We are still working very close with employees and their union representatives on the restructuring of the business in Workington.”

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