Around 175 jobs to go at Delphi factory in Sudbury
- Credit: Gregg Brown
One of west Suffolk’s biggest employers is planning to cut its workforce by almost a quarter, it has been revealed.
Staff at engineering firm Delphi Diesel Systems in Sudbury, which currently employs about 700 people at its Newton Road plant, have just been informed that 91 permanent and 85 temporary jobs are to go.
The cuts will be made by voluntary redundancy and retirement where possible, with discussions about who will go due to commence today.
In addition, Delphi – which provides components and systems for the automotive industry – will not be taking on any new apprentices this year.
Last night, a spokesman for the company said the management was “committed to the long-term best interests” of the Sudbury site. Meanwhile Jack Owen, chairman of the local branch of the Unite union, described the job cuts as “bad news for Sudbury”.
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In December Delphi decided to review its worldwide operations with a view to switching manufacturing by outsourcing to a “current trusted supplier” in Romania, which is already handling these operations for other Delphi Diesel sites.
A Delphi spokesman confirmed that the company had now entered into discussions with employee representatives on the “uncompetitive nature” of its Sudbury plant.
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He added: “To address this situation, the company is proposing a change in manufacturing to focus on high-tech manufacturing and is discussing the possibility to out source non-core manufacturing components.
“This proposal is likely to require the loss of 91 positions, which we hope can be achieved through a voluntary scheme and the loss of 85 agency jobs.
“The management is committed to the long-term best interests of the site and will work to minimize the impact by looking for ways to support the affected employees.”
According to Mr Owen, who is also a former employee at the site, the union has been in discussion with Delphi since Christmas about reducing the effect of moving production overseas, and retaining staff in Sudbury.
He said: “The initial position is to reduce the permanent workforce by around 90 people through early retirement and voluntary redundancy, and I believe the forms are going out to staff today for that.
“In addition, all of the temporary staff will be laid off. We don’t know yet when that will happen or over what time period.
“The company is going to manufacture some of its products in Romania but at the end of the day, there will be 176 people laid off by Delphi which is bad news for Sudbury.
“The huge worry is that with the review of the business, we don’t know how big a brush it’s going to be in the long run.”