Hungarian electric equipment manufacturer Szarvasi Vas-Fémipari announced the closure of its plant on 23 January. As a result, more than 200 workers, both the firm’s own employees and agency workers, lost their job. The the firm made an agreement with a number of other companies, former business partners, about having 60 of these workers transferred to these companies. In 2018 the plant had 400 workers but had to dismiss half of them as it was entering financial difficulties.
While the company was best known for its coffee makers, producing lamps was its main field of activity. In early 2018, the firm embarked on a costly investment program to enhance its lamp production capacities so as to win a new large-scale order from furniture retailer Ikea. But Ikea soon withdrew its order, citing quality problems. Accumulating operating loss and liquidity problems eventually forced the 66 years old company to close its doors.
Szarvasi Vas-Fémipari has been a defining fixture and an important employer in the city of Szarvas for many decades. The government announced that it did not plan to bail out the company as it previously had done in the case of another important employer in the same county but that it would support the workers in finding new jobs.