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ABB hopes to redeploy some of 180 workforce.

Byline: Stuart Dye

ALMOST 200 jobs are to be axed from an engineering firm in Ellesmere Port, it was announced yesterday.

ABB, which makes machinery for the electricity supply industry, said it was closing its Rossmore Road plant in favour of a network of ``focused factories''.

A spokesman for the company said: ``Regrettably the action means that, despite major efforts to improve productivity and profitability, the manufacturing facility at Ellesmere Port has not been selected as a focused factory.''

All work from the site, involving the assembly of impregnated capacitors, will be transferred to a new business in offices at Daresbury T echnology Park, in Warrington.

The company claims it has invested heavily in the new factories to take in the latest production techniques enabling it to ``deliver world-class standards of service not achievable from smaller, localised manufacturing bases.''

A total of 180 jobs will go from Ellesmere Port by Christmas and talks between staff, union leaders and company bosses was under way last night.

Trevor Gregory, UK managing director, said that the company planned to keep job losses to an absolute minimum through redeployment.

``This is a very sad day for our employees and their families affected by this news and we shall do everything we can to assist them in the future.

``This decision was not taken lightly, but it is essential for our future success that we remain competitive and continue to win business in the UK,'' said Mr Gregory.

He added: ``ABB will redeploy as many employees as possible within its other UK businesses and full support will be given to all employees concerned.''

The region's union representatives last night refused to comment on the subject.

A further 200 jobs will go at the company's Dundee plant, which manufactures transformers for the electrical industry, and which union leaders claim made losses of pounds 1m in the last five years.

The ABB group of companies operates in more than 100 countries and employs around 150,000 people worldwide. In the UK the firm has some 6,800 employees.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2002
Words:341
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