Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Final 23 Electrolux Staff Face Uncertain Few Weeks

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Final 23 Electrolux Staff Face Uncertain Few Weeks

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme King

THE end of an era could be just weeks away at Spennymoor in County Durham as the final 23 employees of the electrical manufacturer Electrolux wait to hear whether they have a future with the firm.

Yesterday the Swedish company announced a further 3,000 job loses around the world, showing just how difficult trading has become, even after switching production from the North East to Poland.

The main Spennymoor fridge factory is now closed, with only a few senior managers supervising the decommissioning of the plant and equipment.

The last of 500 factory floor workers finished on Friday, November 28, and now the few remaining warehouse and distribution staff are under threat too. Their departure would bring more than 60 years of Spennymoor's manufacturing history to a close. Work began on site at Electrolux in 1947.

Electrolux said earlier this month it had launched a review into the viability of its finished goods warehouse and distribution centre and a decision on its fate is expected before Christmas.

Then yesterday, Electrolux said it was seeking 3,000 job losses from its 57,000 global workforce, after suffering "weakening demand" for its appliances.

The demise of the company in Spennymoor is yet another blow for the town which has also lost such employers as Black & Decker, Courtaulds and Rothmans in recent years.

However there has been some better news recently, with lighting company Thorn committing to a new pounds 28m factory to maintain local jobs.

Councillor Ben Ord, who represents Spennymoor on both Sedgefield and Durham County councils, said: "We are in a recession, but Spennymoor has been in a recession for the last 10 years.

We have lost factory after factory. We are right down to the butt end."

Coun Ord said he welcomed investment in Spennymoor such as from Thorn and the new mixed use Durham Gate development, but more help was needed for the town. …

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