Workers fearing for jobs with global firm

THE WATLOW operation in Linby
THE WATLOW operation in Linby
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DOUBTS have been cast over the long-term future of the Linby base of a highly successful international company.

And it is feared that jobs could be put at risk.

Family-owned company Watlow was established in St Louis, Missouri, USA in 1922.

It designs and manufactures industrial heaters, sensors and controllers.

A sales office was opened in Nottingham in 1987 and the company has been operating in Linby for more than 20 years.

It is currently based in premises on Robey Close that were purpose-built in 1997.

However a source told the Dispatch this week that a decision has been taken by bosses to axe the sales and manufacturing operation.

It is alleged the move would mean the loss of more than 40 jobs.

The source suggests that the manufacturing work would switch to existing sites in Germany.

Speaking from Germany this week, a spokesman for Watlow, Randal Schmitz, refuted claims that a decision had been made to close the Linby site.

But he remained tight-lipped on the long-term future.

He would only say that the company would “assess the status of the site” as part of its ongoing business plan.

When asked if a consultation had been launched with staff on plans to close the Linby premises, he refused to comment.

The Dispatch source, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the workforce at Robey Close have adapted to new working practices to increase productivity in recent years.

He claims Watlow enjoyed record growth and a record year of sales in the UK in 2010.

But he was worried that the reward for the staff would be “to be kicked in the teeth and made redundant”.

In his letter to the Dispatch, the source states: “A few years ago, the company employed 100 people at Linby but this has since been reduced to less than 60 employees remaining. More than two-thirds of these will lose their jobs in October.

“The company announced a consultation process and informed the workforce that an announcement would be made in July.

“But plans have already been decided upon and the only employees remaining will be a small sales force and sales-office administration function.”

The source also claims the site will eventually be sold completely.

Mr Schmitz again refused to comment on specific assertions.

Watlow has more than 2,000 employees working at 12 manufacturing sites in the USA, Mexico, Europe and Asia.

It also has sales offices in 14 countries around the world, plus a global distribution network.