Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, October 29, 1999 Published at 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK

Business: The Company File

'King of Socks' leaves UK

Pex is moving English production to Romania

One of Europe's biggest sock-makers is pulling out of England amid controversy over unpaid wages.

Pex makes 23 million socks a year at its three factories in Leicester and one in Northern Ireland.

It now plans to switch its English production to Romania and China.

But unions are picketing the English factories after pay cheques bounced. The knitwear union says employees also turned up for work at one of Pex's Leicester factories to find the locks changed.

The employees are now mounting what they call a vigil outside the gates. They are concerned about yarn inside which they say is to be moved to the plant in Romania.

Pex's chairman, Count Andrea Cattaneo della Volta - once dubbed the King of Socks by an Italian newspaper - confirmed the three Leicester factories were to close and wages had not been paid.

He said the move to Romania would cut costs, provide a more flexible workforce and improve on what he called a "poor performance".

"We have had a lot of faulty goods," he said.

He added the pay had not been processed due to technical problems which had now been ironed out.

"This quarrel is the fruit of very sour feelings and antagonism because we have stopped manufacturing," he said.

Pex will continue making socks in Northern Ireland.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

The Company File Contents

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles