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Most of staff at door firm face axe; 150 JOBS COULD BE CUT.

Byline: By KERRY WOOD

THE festive season is looking bleak for yet more workers whose jobs are under threat.

The 200-plus staff at door firm Henderson in Durham were this week told of potential job cuts.

Still reeling from the news, workers have been told more than half of the company's workforce could be laid off by next spring.

A slump in demand in the UK market and the financial crisis have been cited among the reasons for the announcement.

Set up in 1921, the Bowburnbased firm is one of the largest manufacturing employers in the area.

It makes garage doors and sliding door products, supplying more than 40 countries worldwide.

But on Monday it became the latest casualty of the economic crisis, when staff turned up to work to learn one department at the company could be closing, taking with it 150 jobs.

Henderson's parent company Cardo, based in Sweden, is considering closing the arm of the business that manufactures garage doors. The section making sliding doors will be unaffected.

Maria Bergving, for Cardo, confirmed the possible cutbacks but insisted it was still early days. She said: "No final decision has yet been taken, but it could involve 150 jobs.

"We are looking at our other options and are currently in talks with the unions.

"We have been running the UK business at a loss for a number of years, despite efforts such as cost reduction and changing products.

"The UK garage door market is difficult and highly competitive, and there have been changes in building regulations in recent years that have had a negative impact. On top of this there is the current financial crisis."

The consultation period with staff and union representatives will run for 90 days.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: "We've been told they are closing down the department with the loss of 150 jobs. The workforce can hold their heads up high. We feel we have management that are out of their depth at our company."

A decision on the future of 150 people's jobs is expected next year.

"We have been running the UK business at a loss for a number of years, despite efforts such as cost reduction and changing products
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 17, 2008
Words:373
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