EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change



Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom
Region: West Cumbria; Cumbria; North West
Location of affected unit(s): Whitehaven


Sector: Manufacturing
Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
20 - Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 27-10-2004
Planned Job Reductions min: 140
Planned Job Reductions max: 140
Type of Restructuring: Bankruptcy/Closure
Foreseen End Date: 31-12-2005

Additional Information

American firm Huntsman is closing its chemical factory in Cumbria and shedding 140 jobs. The announcement will mean the plant, which used to employ 2,000 workers, will be manned by just 10 people by the end of 2006. Ged Caig, spokesman for the GMB union, said the move was a "betrayal" of workers. The jobs will be phased out over the next 15 months. But Mr Caig condemned the move. He said: "Only a few months ago workers agreed to retrain and multiskill. A statement released on behalf of Huntsman blamed an "increasingly competitive environment" for the job losses. Huntsman took over the site three years ago promising a bright future for chemical production in the town. But last year the wind-down of the operation began when 85 jobs were shed.