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Panasonic will close plant in Krompachy

PANASONIC AVC Networks Slovakia based in the eastern Slovak town of Krompachy (Košice Region) plans to shut down its production of Blu-ray players and recorders, DVD recorders and printed circuit boards (PCB) for TV sets, and move to the Czech Republic. As a result, at least 400 people will lose their jobs, the TASR newswire reported on October 1.

PANASONIC AVC Networks Slovakia based in the eastern Slovak town of Krompachy (Košice Region) plans to shut down its production of Blu-ray players and recorders, DVD recorders and printed circuit boards (PCB) for TV sets, and move to the Czech Republic. As a result, at least 400 people will lose their jobs, the TASR newswire reported on October 1.

The reason is the persistently diminishing European market for video recording devices. Also to blame is the spread of video-on-demand services, the increasing availability of USB-HDD compatible TV sets combined with their falling prices, said Andrea Maršáková, PR manager of the company.

“The sales volume of Panasonic AVC Networks Slovakia has, with no loss in market share, dropped by more than 50 percent over the past five years, and we do not envisage this trend and market developments to change in the future,” Maršáková said, as quoted by TASR.

She added that the end of production of all video products is scheduled for December 31, with the remaining production of PCB ending as of May 2015. The production of high-end BD players, BD recorders as well as the production of PCBs for TV sets will be transferred to the Panasonic AVC Networks plant in Plzeň, the Czech Republic, “with an eye towards ensuring profitability of these products by using Panasonic AVC Networks’s available resources and infrastructure”, Maršáková added.

The closing of the plant should actually concern 656 permanent employees, with 215 of them to be offered jobs in Plzeň.

“We regret the consequences of this measure for the employees and their families, but we consider it to be unavoidable to ensure continued sustainability for the remaining production of video products in Europe,” Maršáková said, as quoted by TASR.

The PR manager added that the information has already been transmitted to all interested parties including employees, trade unions and the local job centre. The company stands ready to assist workers in their seeking new jobs while lending a hand in the organising of job fairs that will be attended by leading temp agencies.

Krompachy’s Mayor Iveta Rušinová considers the information a “horrible blow” for the entire region.

“I do not know any official information as yet, as I’m due to meet the plant’s representatives at town hall [October 2],” Rušinová told TASR. “All I know at the moment comes from the media.”

The mayor added that nothing indicated the end of the production. Though there were some rumours in summer, the company said that “the future of the production would be decided upon by the company's leadership in Japan”, Rušinová said.

The unemployment rate in the region is between 15 and 20 percent.

“We are building a brownfield industrial park that should be completed by the end of this year,” the mayor continued. “We are hoping to attract investors here, we are holding talks with several investors now, I hope it can help the region a little. There are two new production halls with technical infrastructure and a production area of 5,000 square metres.”

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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