ELECTROLUX TO CONSOLIDATE REFRIGERATION PRODUCTION
Electrolux has decided to consolidate its Asia-Pacific refrigeration production and, as a consequence, to close the Electrolux Refrigeration Plant at Orange, 250 kms west of Sydney.
Announcing this today in Orange, Managing Director of Electrolux Home Products Australia and New Zealand, Dr John Brown, said the plant there would continue to manufacture large family-sized fridges and chest freezers, under the Electrolux, Westinghouse and Kelvinator brands, until it closed in mid-to-late 2016.
Dr Brown said that Electrolux appreciated the sensitivity of its decision, particularly in Orange where the factory has been a major employer since its construction as a small arms munitions factory in 1942. “But the company’s exhaustive investment study, announced earlier this year, concluded that Electrolux is able to manufacture refrigerators currently made here more cost effectively in other factories in Asia and Eastern Europe,” Dr Brown added.
Dr Brown said plant manager Mark O’Kane had encouraged suggestions from employees and led a team of professionals with skills in engineering, logistics, finance and manufacturing at the Orange plant in formulating its own productivity improvement plan in an effort to reduce costs and present the best economic case for the plant’s continuation. “We also talked to the relevant people at all levels of government and on both sides of politics, before and after September’s federal election,” Dr Brown said.
“And while these talks were very positive and helpful, in the end a compelling business case could not be made for investing the necessary funds to upgrade the Orange plant for the company’s future manufacturing needs in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Dr Brown said that a consultative process between management and the workforce would be established immediately and the 544 Electrolux employees, whose full-time or part-time employment is terminated by the company because of the Orange plant closure, would receive their full entitlements under existing workplace agreements for the site.
He added that the manufacturing operations will be wound down “in a gradual and orderly manner” starting late 2015 and through 2016. The research and development centre would continue for up to a further two years after that.
Dr Brown said that after the Orange plant closure, Electrolux would still employ more than 1100 people throughout Australia and New Zealand and continue to operate the Electrolux Cooking Products plant in Dudley Park, Adelaide.
For further information:
Dr John Brown – (02) 9317 9675
Released by Electrolux Corporate Communications
Craig McCarthy – 0418 404 000 firstname.lastname@example.org