Double blow for one town as two of its major employers contemplate making redundancies during the festive period

Haverhill HID Corporation in Haverhill

Haverhill HID Corporation in Haverhill - Credit: Archant

More than 100 people could be facing the prospect of losing their jobs this Christmas in one Suffolk town.

In Haverhill, two multinational companies are weighing up their future in the town.

A Spanish packaging manufacturer, Saica Flex, is making 32 people redundant, according to a member of staff at the site who withheld his name. He described the redundancies as “shocking.”

“32 people out of 100 will be gone by end of year,” he said.

“Everyone else feels ‘are we next’ and there’s unrest everywhere. Some have been at company for 20-plus years.”

The company’s premises on falconer road was previously run by Adare Label converters, a printing firm which was bought by Americk Packaging. That company, which operated a £325m papermill in Manchester, became part of the Saica Group in 2016.

Saica Flex has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding the job losses.

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In another blow to Haverhill, HID Global, which has a base at Haverhill Business Park on Phoenix Road, is also currently contemplating employee redundancies.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HID Global has over 3,000 employees worldwide and operates international offices that support more than 100 countries. HID Global is part of the Swedish security group ASSA ABLOY.

With five weeks to go until Christmas, up to 67 jobs are understood to be at risk at the Haverhill site.

In a statement that HID Global issued to this newspaper, the company said: “HID is currently consulting with the Haverhill site regarding a proposed restructure of the local operations.

“If we proceed with the proposal, there is a possibility that some employees will be made redundant.

“However, no final decisions have been made regarding the proposed changes and HID is engaging with the site to discuss the proposals and options. While such consultation is ongoing, we cannot comment any further.”

Last month, the company posted strong organic sales growth for the third quarter of 2018. A statement on its website said that the company was “developing positively.”

“Two years ago, ASSA ABLOY set a target to double HID’s revenue in five years’ time through organic sales and acquisitions,” it read.

Another local employer, Philips, which operates the Philips Avent factory in Glemsford, has stated that its operations in Suffolk will be impacted in the case of a hard Brexit,

But a spokesperson for the HID Global denied that the proposed redundancies had anything to do with the potential impact of Brexit in the UK.

It is unknown whether Saica Flex’s decisions in Haverhill are influenced by the impact of Brexit.

But in an interview last year with Packaging News, Saica Flex’s president, Ramón Alejandro, commented that: “I think Britons voted without knowing all the consequences of Brexit. The other problem for Saica is that we send people from other countries to work in the UK and Britons to work elsewhere. We move people often. If it is harder to have movement of people, that’s going to affect us.”