Philips Avent manufacturing facility is closing in Glemsford, Suffolk – staff and MPS react

5:26 PM January 17, 2019

Up to date:
6:11 PM October 11, 2020

The information that Philips Avent is shutting down its manufacturing facility in Suffolk has been greeted by tears, shock, and fears for the long run.

Regardless of workers on the plant stating they’d been informed that Brexit was one of many causes behind the choice, Neil Mesher, the chief govt of Philips UK and Eire, informed the East Anglian Each day Instances that the choice to shut the manufacturing facility in Glemsford was a part of a wider world technique, and would have been made “no matter Brexit”.

“The timing of the announcement is tough, however whatever the scenario with Brexit, we’d nonetheless be making this announcement,” he stated.

“We have now identified we’d be doing this since 2017. We’re consolidating our operations, from 50 to 30 giant websites, and the merchandise made in Glemsford will probably be made in Holland and Indonesia sooner or later.”

Philips Avent employs 430 full time contracted staff on the Glemsford web site, and lots of extra are employed not directly by an company.

Leann Hofmann, 34, of Stoke Park Drive, Ipswich, who works as an operator for Phillips Avent stated that the information, though unhappy, was not a shock. “I’d been anticipating it to occur in two or three years, fairly than as quickly as subsequent 12 months,” she stated. “We had been informed at 1.20pm immediately – lots of people had been crying.”

“Lots of the staff on the plant have households to feed and it’s going to be actually exhausting for them.

“I’m English speaker, so it received’t be so exhausting for me to seek out different work. However a number of different staff are frightened as a result of they will’t communicate English very effectively, so they’re frightened about discovering a brand new job.”

Philips Avent modified the employment company that it makes use of earlier this month, from OSR Recruitment, who’re primarily based in Norwich, to Randstad Options Ltd, primarily based in Luton, and the transfer resulted in lots of staff complaining they’d misplaced vacation pay and different advantages.

Mr Mesher stated that the “challenges” Philips Avent had with the contract with OSR had “nothing to do” with the choice to tug out of Glemsford. “Philips Avent has met all of our obligations with OSR,” he added.

However Philip Saunders, the director of OSR Recruitment, stated that immediately’s information “would go a protracted technique to explaining why Philips Avent and their completely appointed supplier of labour Randstad Options have acted as they’ve in direction of us, and extra importantly our former staff over current months”.

“Maybe now our former staff will probably be given the employment rights that they had been entitled to beneath TUPE in order to make sure that – if this data is appropriate – they won’t lose out on their redundancy funds,” he added.

Political Response

MP James Cartlidge stated he was “extraordinarily saddened and disillusioned” to listen to the information.

“My first thought is for all these working on the plant who will now have to enter session about their future, which should be a really unsettling expertise. I intend to fulfill the CEO very first thing Friday morning in Suffolk to debate issues and study extra about their plans for the workers, and for the long run. In fact, folks will decide up on the Brexit concern. The corporate say that that is a part of a world restructure however have clearly referred to ‘geopolitical’ components of their assertion. Final summer season, the CEO of Philips world warned me in an convention name that the plant can be moved with out a good Brexit deal.

“Regardless of the exact affect, it’s unattainable to miss the truth that this announcement has come simply after the Prime Minister’s pro-employment Brexit deal was voted down within the Commons. And no matter anybody says, it’s irrefutable that manufacturing shouldn’t be shifting from Holland to the UK, however vice versa’.”

“‘These job losses will not be ‘mission worry’. They’re actual. I’ll proceed to do every part I can in Parliament to assist discovering a Brexit deal that respects the referendum outcome however seeks to take action in a smart approach, defending our economic system within the course of. And naturally, we must always do not forget that fortunately general unemployment stays at very low ranges and there are many vacancies.’

“I really talked about Philips Avent in my first ever speech as an MP, not least as a result of I used their child bottles to feed my twins. I’m proud to have such a profitable model in my constituency, exporting all around the world, and a market chief within the US. Now that nice model will probably be leaving to the EU, and all these exports will go from Holland to the US, not from Suffolk. I’m gutted and this strengthens my resolve to maintain urgent for a smart approach ahead that prioritises British trade. I don’t need to see our financial success tales shifting away, I would like new ones being created right here and that may require the knowledge for funding that may come from securing a steady approach ahead for our nation.”

Jack Owen, Labour county and city councillor for Sudbury, stated that when any trade strikes away from the Sudbury space, it’s a fear as a result of it is extremely damaging to the native economic system.

“For me, its reveals the significance of the Delphi web site [in Sudbury] and its workforce being retained. I’ve heard all of the rumours about electrical automotive producers, however that basically wants to return to fruition.

“The properties on the Chilton Woods growth aren’t too far-off and my fear is that we received’t have the roles within the space for the folks residing there.”

Stephen Plumb, district councillor and chairman of Glemsford Parish Council, stated: “It’s very disappointing and devastating for the entire of the south Suffolk neighborhood.

“The corporate solid good hyperlinks with the area people and I believe folks had been hoping it might keep.

“Following on from the (information concerning the) Delphi closure, it leaves lots of people across the Sudbury space on the lookout for one other job.

“What number of different corporations may comply with swimsuit if there isn’t a Brexit settlement?”

Michael Holt, district councillor for Glemsford, stated: “It’s very unhappy information, not only for Glemsford however for the entire space.

“I’m shocked to listen to it, I had no inkling this was going to occur. It’s a devastating blow, which goes to hit the area people very exhausting.”

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