MP Jo Churchill meets with Bosch CEO over relocation plans
PUBLISHED: 16:41 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:44 20 June 2019
Jo Churchill MP has said she has been given assurances some Bosch teams will remain at its Stowmarket site.
Bosch has announced that power tool production at the factory will cease from the end of 2019 with the loss up to 140 jobs, and with production moving instead to Hungary.
Stowmarket MP Mrs Churchill met with Dr Steffen Hoffmann, president of Robert Bosch Ltd UK, on Thursday, June 13, to discuss the future of the Bosch site in the town.
She said: "I am determined that Bosch keeps its site in Stowmarket and was pleased to be given assurances from Dr Hoffmann that the research and design and other teams will remain.
"Bosch is embedded in our local community and it is of the upmost importance for this to continue.
"It is disappointing that this business decision had to be considered, due to cost pressures on the business."
She said Brexit was not a factor in this decision and "Dr Hoffmann assured me that possible alternatives have been tried before the proposal to move production abroad was announced".
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She said if the proposal goes ahead, there would be a phasing out of production between July and December and Bosch has offered additional support to help staff find alternative jobs.
"My thoughts continue to be with the affected staff and their families and I welcomed the constructive meeting with Dr Hoffmann, having offered to work with him to ensure staff receive all possible help and support at this time," she added.
Unite union regional representative Neal Evans was in Stowmarket on Monday and met with management to discuss issues including possible re-deployment and training for staff and enhanced redundancy packages for those affected.
Stuart Briscoe, general manager of Bosch Lawn & Garden, said: "We had a constructive meeting to discuss the proposed restructure of our garden tools manufacturing capability at Stowmarket with Unite to explain the impact on some of our colleagues.
"It was understood that despite implementing several cost cutting measures and changes and despite having examined possible alternatives we are unable to continue to manufacture at Stowmarket.
"We explained how we would support colleagues affected by the changes, through both financial support, and a full range of special measures including outplacement and re-training.
"I also confirmed that we are committed to supporting our associates through this difficult time."
The Stowmarket site currently employs 250 staff and it is also home to research and development in the UK for Bosch Power Tools home and garden products.