DS Smith to axe 54 jobs at two sheet feeding plants in UK due to investment

By Irina Van den Neste Thu, Jun 12, 2014

BRUSSELS, June 12, 2014 (RISI) -

DS Smith (DSS) is set to axe some 54 jobs at two of its sheet feeding plants in the UK.Around 40 people will be laid off at the Blunham plant in Bedfordshire and some 14 people will lose their jobs at the Louth plant.

A DSS spokesperson said that the firm is currently in the consultation process with the employees. He said that the majority of jobs to be cut are “related to the production process at the plants.”

According to thespokesperson, the layoffs are due to the ongoing investment in a new corrugator at Blunham, which is set to come online by the end of this year. Once the new machinery is launched, some of Louth’s production will be relocated to Blunham, which will mean fewer positions available at Louth, the spokesman said. At Blunham, the new corrugator and other new machinery is expected to replace some of existing equipment and will require fewer people to operate it, DSS said.

The Blunham investmentis part of the £100 million ($168 million) project aimed at strengthening the position of DSS on the UK packaging market. In particular, the firm intends to extend its product portfolio to include fanfold sheets meant for digital printand a range of micro-flute grades designed as cartonboard replacement materials.

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