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82 jobs go as SKF moves production from UK to Italy

10 June, 2009

SKF to transferring its super-precision bearings manufacturing operation from Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, to sites in Villar Perosa and Torino, Italy. The move will result in 82 redundancies in the UK.

Super-precision bearings are used mainly in machine tools and demand has dropped dramatically in recent months. With most major European machine-tool manufacturers now being based in southern and central Europe, SKF believes that concentrating its development and production resources at its Italian factories will allow it to provide a faster and higher standard of service to its customers.
The Italian factories already manufacture super-precision bearings, allowing the transfer of the UK operations to be carried out relatively quickly, in phases between June and August. The specification of products currently made in the UK will remain unchanged, as will the company’s planned programme of new product development.

SKF says it has been working closely with employees and unions in the UK to minimise the impact of the changes. In particular, the company has redeployed some employees to other local SKF manufacturing sites, while others have taken voluntary redundancy. Additionally, SKF has provided the services of outplacement specialists to help staff find new jobs elsewhere, organise job search workshops and to offer access to retraining programmes in the local area.

SKF’s larger aeroengine bearings operation in Stonehouse, which employs a further 200 people, is unaffected by the transfer of production.

SKF’s chief executive Tom Johnstone said recently that the company’s global sales had declined recently at the fastest rate since the Second World War.

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