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Worker speaks of shock after 360 job cut announcement

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 28, 2014

27/02/14 Sandvik Sandvik, Hearthcote Road

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A FACTORY worker has spoke of the shock at being told hundreds of jobs will go at a Swadlincote construction plant.

The Sandvik Construction worker spoke out after the firm announced that 360 jobs will be lost from its Hearthcote Road site by early 2015.

The recession-hit firm will consolidate its Swadlincote operation with its Northern Ireland plant in Ballygawley as part of a major reorganisation of its UK operations.

The worker, from Church Gresley, who has worked for the firm for three years and asked not to be named, told the Mail: “The news hasn’t gone down very well because it was out of the blue.

“It was a shock because a lot of people thought things were not right but we thought we could make to order.

“I’m in my 50s so it will be hard to get another job, and it’s the same for a lot of the others, but I feel sorry for the younger ones who have mortgages.

“Some have been here for 17 years and at the end of the day there are going to be a lot of young people out of work.

“But to be fair, Sandvik has said there will be redundancy packages for people.”

The company announced the cull yesterday after revealing global demand for its products had not recovered as well had been hoped since the economic downturn in 2008.

Managing director Terry Allison said as a result the firm’s two factories, in Swadlincote and Ballygawley, had been running at half capacity.

He said: “This is neither efficient nor sustainable. In order to stay competitive, we propose moving all our production onto the Ballygawley site, which is the right size to meet both the current and anticipated demand for our mobile crushers and screeners.”

Sandvik will still have offices in Swadlincote, for support, sourcing, marketing and aftermarket departments.

The company is in discussions with the Unite union which represent some of Swadlincote workers.

Sandvik has pledged to make support measures available to all those affected by the decision.

The company has also contacted engineering companies across the region to highlight the skills of the workforce which will become available.

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