More redundancies and short-time working is being planned at pottery-giant Steelite International as the economy continues to falter as a result of the pandemic.
The Stoke-on-Trent tableware manufacturer has revealed that it is looking to shed a further 45 jobs at its Middleport factory and introduce shorter working hours for the remaining staff.
It comes just three months after the company axed 160 jobs – equating to 20 per cent of its 800-strong workforce – on the back of Covid-19.
Group HR director Louise Griffin sent a letter to staff outlining the plans – which also include moving the planned week-long Potters’ holiday in September to December.
She said: “The global hospitality market remains severely impacted by the pandemic, travel across the globe remains restricted, hotels remain closed and restaurants that are open are not seeing the custom they once had.
“Subsequently, orders for our manufactured products and our portfolio ranges remain significantly below previous years and we expect that any return to healthy sales will be slower than originally anticipated. We also have to consider the withdrawal of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from the end of October.”
She added: “Regrettably, following a further review of overheads and forecasted sales, while we had hopes that the recent headcount reduction would be enough, further measures need to be taken and there may be a need for additional compulsory redundancies to ensure we can continue to sustainably operate our manufacturing and distribution facility here in Stoke-on-Trent.”
A 30-day consultation has now been launched over the plans which are expected to affect 34 hourly and weekly-paid staff and 11 salaried employees.
The company is appealing for volunteers to come forward for redunancy.