Carron workers say bosses are ‘rubbing salt in our wounds’

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Workers at the closure threatened Carron Phoenix plant say bosses are “rubbing salt into their wounds” by 
taking on more staff.

The company – owned by the Franke Group – is employing temporary workers to help ship goods out to customers as there is not currently enough staff to cope with demand. The firm is also people workers to work weekends for 12 weeks.

Franke is planning to close the site by December 2017 and move operations to Slovakia to cut costs, but employees have been left shocked at the new recruitment and are questioning why a company with a full to bursting order book needs to close its Falkirk operation.

Management has even admitted the situation is “somewhat odd” in an internal communication to staff.

It read: “In light of the recent communication from Franke of their closure plans for the Falkirk site, it may seem somewhat odd that I post this notice to advise of increased demand which requires that we increase our production capacity.

“Budgeted and forecast demand for May, June and July was set at 87,000 pieces. Actual demand for May and forecast demand for June and July sees this number increase by around 20 per cent to 105,000-plus pieces.

“If we are to satisfy this demand, we have to do so by providing work for additional agency staff in manufacturing operations. Based on the indicated increase in demand the number we intend to hire would be ten.”

One worker, who asked not be named, said: “To say we are angry about this is the understatement of the century. We are totally shocked and it’s like rubbing salt into our wounds.

“The amount of orders we have proves the company is in good health but by closing this plant they have shown a total disregard for the welfare of their workforce.”

Franke say closing the plant is a “regrettable” course of action as a result of “intense” global market competition.

A spokesperson said: “It was not a decision taken lightly. We remain committed to working with the unions to finalise appropriate terms for employees and, wherever possible, to agree support to help them find new jobs and training opportunities.

“By employing a limited number of temporary workers and offering overtime to the existing workforce the company is able to plan and deliver uninterrupted production from now until December 2017.”