Dozens of jobs at risk at Wigan flooring plant
Large manufacturing firm Milliken Industrials has confirmed it is in the middle of consulting with staff over local redundancies.
The firm is considering proposals to shed up to 61 jobs in its floor covering business serving the Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEA&I), mainly at its site in Beech Hill.
The firm, which makes commercial carpets and textile products, said the coronavirus public health crisis had led to plummeting demand for its services and there was little clear sign of when this would improve.
Its response is potentially to let just under one in five of its 332-strong borough workforce go.
It is the latest blow to the borough’s economy in what is becoming a grim week for jobs in Wigan.
DW Sports collapsed into administration at the start of the week, putting 1,700 jobs at risk.
And School Lettings Solutions (SLS), which rents out facilities at a top college and secondary schools in the borough, has gone under as well.
Both companies also said the ongoing restrictions in place to curb the coronavirus made it hard to see a viable future for the businesses.
A Milliken company statement about the possible redundancies said: “The proposal is driven by a substantial reduction in business levels caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation is expected to persist for some time.
“As required by UK employment law, Milliken has started a period of consultation with affected employees.
“The company is committed to a meaningful consultation process and will work with its employees throughout this difficult time.
“While these consultations are on-going it would not be appropriate to comment further.
“Milliken is committed to supporting all its associates, creating new products and servicing clients’ needs to ensure the future sustainability of the business.”
The consultation period began several weeks ago but has only just come to light. Discussions with employees are still ongoing.
The Gidlow Lane site is a centre of European operations for Milliken, which has its headquarters on the other side of the pond in South Carolina.
The prestigious global firm has manufacturing facilities across the world and supplies carpets, vinyl tiles and other floor coverings to a variety of industries.
Milliken employs 8,000 people globally, 900 of them in Europe.