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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Kodak to shed 600 UK jobs
Digital camera
Digital cameras have reduced demand for film
Photography equipment maker Kodak is to cut 600 jobs in the UK and close a factory in Nottinghamshire.

About 350 jobs will be lost following the closure of the factory at Annesley, Nottinghamshire, while 250 posts will go at its site in Harrow, north London.

The layoffs are part of a global restructuring plan that the US-based firm unveiled in January this year.

Kodak has been hit hard by the shift away from traditional camera film to the use of digital cameras.

Kodak currently employs about 3,000 people in the UK.

New trends

Kodak announced in January that it planned to shed up to 15,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years as it sought to reposition its business in the digital age.

The simple fact is that customer and consumer preferences are changing
Peter Blackwell, Kodak UK managing director

The closure of the Annesley film plant will take place in a year's time, while the Harrow job cuts are set to be made by March 2005.

However, the Harrow site will gain 300 jobs which are being moved from the company's head office in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. The Harrow site will also become Kodak's UK headquarters.

"Today's announcements are driven by fundamental, structural change in the imaging industry worldwide and Kodak's intent to transform the company and remain the leader in imaging," said Peter Blackwell, managing director of Kodak in the UK.

"The simple fact is that customer and consumer preferences are changing and demand for traditional products such as film and paper has fallen with the rising popularity of digital photography."

Disappointment

Trade unions T&G and Amicus said they were "deeply disappointed" at Kodak's plans and were surprised at the scale of the job losses.

The redundancy proposals, they said, went against Kodak's policy of moving production out of the US.

Union leaders said they did not accept the company's rationale for closing the Nottingham site nor for the jettisoning of jobs in Harrow.

"Both unions and shop stewards are fully committed to supporting every single one of our members in Harrow and Annesley," said Joe McGowan, a full-time official of Amicus.

Meanwhile, the T&G vowed to make sure job losses at Harrow would only be on a voluntary basis.

"Not one union member in Kodak will be forced to 'walk the plank' because of the company's proposals," said Peter Allsopp, the T&G branch secretary.




SEE ALSO:
Brighter future for Eastman Kodak
21 Apr 04  |  Business
Kodak cuts 15,000 jobs worldwide
22 Jan 04  |  Business
Kodak embraces digital revolution
13 Jan 04  |  Business
R.I.P. 35mm Camera
15 Jan 04  |  Magazine


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