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Jobs axed at Ipswich firm

PUBLISHED: 13:19 10 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

AN IPSWICH business today expressed its regret at having to lay off a number of its workers as it adjusts to current market conditions.

Loud-speaker manufacturer, Celestion International, based in Foxhall Road, has had to offer redundancy packages to 29 of its workers.

AN IPSWICH business today expressed its regret at having to lay off a number of its workers as it adjusts to current market conditions.

Loud-speaker manufacturer, Celestion International, based in Foxhall Road, has had to offer redundancy packages to 29 of its workers.

Employees were warned in September that the move would have to be made, and those to go were informed of the final decision yesterday.

Human Resources manager, Peter Barnes, said it was not a decision that the company had taken lightly and that everything had been done to address the situation.

He said: "We are manufacturers of loud speakers and like any manufacturing industry we are subject to market forces. This is the course of action we must take to protect the employment of our remaining members of staff and the business itself.

"It's not a decision we wanted to take, it's not one we enjoy taking and it's not one we take lightly.

"It's sad that it's happened and we regret it enormously."

Some workers at the company are not happy and feel they have not been treated fairly. One worker among the 29 to be laid off said he was angry at the way they had been treated.

He said: "We were told a month ago and have been on tenterhooks. No one was officially told until the first letters went out yesterday.

"There's been a lot of worried people and some have had to go to doctors. People feel very, very bitter."

The worker added that one employee to be made redundant had worked for the company for more than 30 years.

Those to be made redundant are not required to work their notice, but will receive notice pay and an enhanced compensation package which Mr Barnes said is "above and beyond that which is required".

He also said that the company had followed the necessary procedures and consultations in ensuring the redundancies were handled correctly and fairly and that other positions in the company had been secured for five employees who wished to continue with Celestion.

Mr Barnes said: "The process started on September 27 and ended yesterday. During that period we were fortunate to find alternative employment for five initially identified for redundancy.

"We have carried out negotiations with trade unions, our own shop stewards and area officials and every individual member of the company that there would be a five week consultation period.

"People knew on September 27 that we were going to have to take this particular course of action and we have gone through a long protracted consultation period with all employees, particularly those effected.

"We did all we could to try and save a number of redundancies and have done that. We have done all everything we possibly could, but that doesn't mean we regret having to do it."

There will now be a phased programme of redundancies, the first taking place on November 31 and the last on February 28.

Celestion International was founded in 1924 and researches, designs, manufactures and distributes worldwide high-fidelity loud-speakers and loud-speaker systems for the professional music industry.

Weblink: www.celestion.com

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