UK gains from Hoover job shake-up

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The Independent Online
HOOVER, the electrical appliance manufacturer, is to create 400 jobs at its factory at Cambuslang, near Glasgow, but will make 600 people redundant at Dijon, France. The changes result from rationalisation of the company's European vacuum-cleaner business onto a single site.

Hoover, which is owned by Maytag of the United States, said the continuing recession and static consumer demand had resulted in over-capacity.

The decision to expand the Cambuslang site follows a six- month review of Hoover's European operations. A key to the outcome is believed to have been the deal reached with unions last week involving a 12-month pay freeze and changes in working practices. Unions believe that had they failed to agree, jobs would have been moved to Dijon.

Cambuslang's output of 900,000 cleaners a year will double, becoming enough to supply all European markets. Hoover is also investing in its Merthyr Tydfil plant, where washing machines and dishwashers are made.

The company has been trying to boost sales by offering free flights to North America to customers buying an appliance costing more than pounds 100. The latest scheme raises the threshold to pounds 250 and runs out at the end of this month.

Littlewoods is axing 350 jobs in its mail-order division. Jobs will go at Sunderland and Preston as the operation is centralised at Crosby. The group also plans to close its textile returns centre in Oldham and to pull out of the credit cards business.