Workers need a chance to relax

LG PHILIPS Displays, a producer of components for cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, employs about 1,200 people in the Slovak town of Námestovo. The company finds Slovakia's cheap, motivated labour a favourable factor for its business environment.
However, the company would appreciate state help in building better housing and relaxation facilities for its workforce in order to attract more young people to the region.


ONCE they have jobs, workers need to blow off steam after work.
photo: Courtesy of LG Philips Displays

LG PHILIPS Displays, a producer of components for cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, employs about 1,200 people in the Slovak town of Námestovo. The company finds Slovakia's cheap, motivated labour a favourable factor for its business environment.

However, the company would appreciate state help in building better housing and relaxation facilities for its workforce in order to attract more young people to the region.

"The area of Námestovo is certainly not a very attractive area for young people. Leisure facilities and especially housing facilities are lacking. Here we also expect help from the government," Andreas von Bandemer, one of executive officers of LG Philips Displays, told The Slovak Spectator.

He continued: "The flexible and low-cost labour is certainly an advantage of operating in Slovakia. We can run our operation for up to 4 to 6 days a week without any problems. Additionally, we have a good and motivated workforce. The people are all eager to learn new technologies and managerial skills."

LG Philips Displays began operating in Slovakia in 2001 on a greenfield site. The total investments of the company amounted to €50 million.

Nearly all people working in the company came from the region around Námestovo. They went through an intensive training organised by LG Philips.

The company provides work for operators as well as highly skilled people in development, production, finance and accounting, and logistics and quality.

LG Philips Displays, which is a joint venture of Dutch Philips and Korean LG, produces components for TV tubes at an annual value of €100 million. Some of the products are made under dust-free, clean room conditions.

Most of the company's products are exported to other EU countries. One of the company's biggest customers is the tube factory in Hranice in the Czech Republic.

"The [short] distance to that large factory was also one of the reasons we have chose Námestovo as a production centre," added Bandemer.

The company does not expect a growing trend in its business, but believes that its market share can still be increased. "LG Philips Displays continues to gain strength in the market amid difficult conditions [the price of CRT monitors is decreasing overall]. In 2003, we led the CRT industry with a 27 percent market share based on the sale of 235 million units worldwide," said Bandemer.

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