SA axes 810 jobs
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SEDDON ATKINSON is the latest victim of the recession. It has made nearly 45 per cent of its workforce redundant, and is closing the former Atkinson factory at Walton-le-Dale and premises at Bamber Bridge. Jobs will also go at its Oldham plant.
In all, 810 of its 1,836 employees were given statutory 90day notice on Thursday last week, and that includes all 472 presently employed at the Walton-le-Dale site.
At the former Seddon works at Oldham, 300 jobs will go, and 38 are going from Bamber Bridge, where a management staff survives at the former parts distribution centre. Another 94 are being transferred to the new parts centre at Oldham, where the company is concentrating its activities.
SA's managing director Bob Johnson told CMthat both of the Preston area buildings will be sold or leased as soon as possible. He added that the Oldham plant, which recently was upgraded to build around 19 vehicles a day, is capable of meeting the company's current market projections.
Short-time working, which has been in force since June last year, but which was increased from one to three days a week at the beginning of this year to cope with demand for the new 401 model, is expected to increase again to four days a week after the Preston factory closes, but full details of how the transition will take place have still to be agreed.
Mr Johnson informed employees that the company's £7m net profit in 1978/79 turned into a "significant loss" in the six months to October 1980, and trading losses continued for the next two months. He told CM that the stock of unsold vehicles, which stands at around 450, is about two-and-a-half to three times the normal level.