Outlook 'very grim' for staff
A CRUCIAL meeting takes place today at a Lowestoft timber manufacturing company with the future of nearly 200 jobs at stake.Jeld Wen has launched a 90-day consultation with staff at its factory in Lowestoft to discuss the possible closure of the site, which could lead to the loss of 194 jobs.
A CRUCIAL meeting takes place today at a Lowestoft timber manufacturing company with the future of nearly 200 jobs at stake.
Jeld Wen has launched a 90-day consultation with staff at its factory in Lowestoft to discuss the possible closure of the site, which could lead to the loss of 194 jobs.
Staff at the former Boulton and Paul factory, on Waveney Drive, face an uncertain future as the company has announced that it needs to cut costs following the recent slowdown in the construction industry.
Senior managers will be meeting union shop stewards and Waveney MP Bob Blizzard at the factory.
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'I will be doing everything I can to help the workforce and can understand that this is a very worrying time for the workers and their families,' said Mr Blizzard, who admitted that the situation looked 'very grim indeed'.
The Lowestoft site, which backs onto Lake Lothing, processes, mills and treats wood which is made into doors, window frames and stairs at Jeld Wen's other factories and exported all over the world.
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A Jeld Wen spokesman said: 'We have begun consultation with the employees in Lowestoft regarding the future of the site.
'Our markets in the UK have been adversely affected by the general economic situation and in particular the construction industry downturn.
'We are looking for savings in our manufacturing processes in order to remain competitive. We know that this is a difficult time for our colleagues in Lowestoft and we will be giving them our full support during the consultation process.'
She added: 'None of Jeld Wen's other manufacturing sites are affected by this announcement, and while the construction market is very tough at the moment, Jeld Wen remains positive about the future.'
Officials from the GMB and UCATT unions are expected to meet company representatives at the factory on Friday.
The UK branch of the company, which started in Oregon in America in 1960 and now employs about 20,000 people worldwide, also has factories in Penrith, Melton Mowbray and Sheffield, where its headquarters are also based.
Jeld Wen bought the former John Carr and Boulton and Paul companies from the Rugby Group in 1999.
The announcement that the Lowestoft factory could close in the New Year comes as a fresh blow to the town's workforce after it was revealed at the end of last month that engineering firm SLP is in administration and has made 45 people of its Lowestoft workers redundant.