Michelin to cut 950 factory jobs

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The Independent Online

French tyre manufacturer Michelin plans to slash 950 jobs at one of its four factories in Britain, as it seeks to centralise output and cut production costs.

French tyre manufacturer Michelin plans to slash 950 jobs at one of its four factories in Britain, as it seeks to centralise output and cut production costs.

Michelin will make the cuts by the end of next year at its plant at Stoke-on-Trent. The current work force of 2,350 is to fall to 1,400.

"It is a sad day for Michelin and for Stoke-on-Trent because it signals the end of what will be nearly 74 years of Michelin tyre-making in Stoke," said site manager Jim Rickard.

The decision came as Michelin struggles with rising costs in Europe. Last month the company blamed a weak euro, rising commodity prices and slower inventory growth for a decline of almost 28 percent in half-year profits.

The company said its decision was part of a strategy of concentrating production at fewer and bigger plants.

The Transport and General Workers Union called the layoffs a "devastating blow," and the Government promised a quick response.

"Our key aim will be to find new job opportunities for the future to replace those lost today," said Industry Minister Alan Johnson.

Michelin said the cuts would not affect its three other UK plants, in Dundee, Burnley and Ballymena in Northern Ireland.

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