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Sabic Europe to cut 1,050 jobs

By: PLASTICS & RUBBER WEEKLY

April 22, 2013

BERGEN OP ZOOM, NETHERLANDS – Raw materials producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp. plans to cut 1,050 jobs in Europe, including 110 positions in the United Kingdom, as part of a restructuring program.

The company, which currently employs 6,200 in Europe, said that with the exception of its technology and innovation department – seen as an important growth area – areas of the business affected would include manufacturing and production operations, as well as administrative functions.

Plant closures involving "certain assets" would also result, the group said. Most of the U.K. job losses would be at the company's facility on Teeside, it added.

Sabic said talks were underway with trade unions and works councils and it hoped to have finalized an agreement with these groups by the commencement of the summer holidays.

A spokeswoman said the restructuring would be implemented "as soon as possible" and should be completed by the first quarter next year.

Commenting on the changes, Koos van Haasteren, Sabic Europe's vice president, said the industry faced slow growth, "as consumers' spending on houses, cars and appliances and investments in infrastructure projects are down. These developments have led to structurally reduced demand and squeezed margins.

"At the same time, competition has intensified from other regions, especially from the US, which has the advantage of shale gas development, and Asia, which has increased local production capacity and consumption.

Van Haasteren said that once the restructuring process has been completed he was confident Sabic would be in "an even stronger position to meet customer needs, support its employees and contribute to the communities and environments within which we operate.

"We remain committed to building a company that provides our employees the opportunity to grow and develop."