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Vráble hit by job losses

THE GLOBAL financial crisis has left its footprint in Vráble in western Slovakia. Three companies have already announced they will cut their labour forces there, with two announcing large-scale lay-offs, the SITA newswire wrote on October 28.

THE GLOBAL financial crisis has left its footprint in Vráble in western Slovakia. Three companies have already announced they will cut their labour forces there, with two announcing large-scale lay-offs, the SITA newswire wrote on October 28.

“These are all foreign firms that are tied to the global economy, which means that each vibration or turbulence affects them,” Vráble’s mayor, Tibor Tóth, told SITA. According to information from the local labour office, 180 employees of Kongsberg Driveline Systems, s.r.o. will lose their jobs, while Connect Systems Slovakia, s.r.o. will lay off all its 130 employees. Matador Automotive has not yet specified the number of employees who will lose their jobs but it is likely to come to several dozen.

The head of employment services at the Nitra Labour Office, Igor Vavrík, told SITA they will organise a labour exchange in each of these firms after an agreement with the employer. “We do not yet know the structure of employees and therefore we cannot say at the moment whether we will be able to offer them jobs in line with their qualifications,” said Vavrík. Nevertheless, he admitted that the number of jobs available in their database is not increasing greatly due to the global economic situation.

Kongsberg Driveline Systems, s.r.o., will lay off 180 people between November 15 and February 28, 2009. It manufactures control systems and car components in the Vráble industrial park, currently employing over 1,000 people.

Matador Automotive did not announce mass lay-offs. “Mainly those with fixed-term contracts and maybe a few more dozen people will be let go,” said Tóth. He added that the company employs over 1,000 people and its turnover is Sk3.5 billion (€116.18 million) annually. It is currently involved in a large investment project on its premises amounting to several hundreds of millions of crowns. This attests to the fact that the company is healthy, Tóth said.

Connect Systems, a sub-contracting division of the Belgian company IPTE, has announced it is to withdraw entirely from Vráble. It will move its production facility to Romania. As a result of this, 130 people will lose their jobs. The company said the step was part of an effort to cut costs.

The director general of Connect Systems, Luc Switten, said that operating two cable-production plants, one in Slovakia and one in Romania, led to inefficiency in production, rising operating costs and duplication of management.

The shift of all cable production activities to Romania should be completed by the end of March next year, which is when the existing workers will lose their jobs, the company told the labour office. Connect Systems Slovakia, s.r.o. makes and distributes cables and other electronic equipment. In addition to Slovakia, IPTE also operates plants in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal, Romania, the Czech Republic and China.


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