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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 08:59 GMT
Black & Decker cuts UK jobs
Black & Decker logo
Black & Decker are to cut 2,400 jobs worldwide
Power tool maker Black & Decker is to cut a third of jobs at their plant in South Yorkshire.

The company said 39 jobs would go at Maltby, near Rotherham, as part of a global restructuring plan.

The proposed redundancies come as Black & Decker said it would look to cut costs by switching some power tool and hardware operations from the UK and the US to Mexico, China and central Europe.

The company said the Maltby plant, which employs 127 people, would continue to focus on making specialist products for the professional market.

Black & Decker power tool
Workers are to stop making power tools

A total of 2,400 jobs are to go worldwide and the restructuring will see the closure of three plants in the US.

The UK restructuring will also see some work on consumer products transferred from a plant in County Durham to locations abroad.

Workers at the plant in Spennymoor have been told they will stop making power tools for the DIY market and concentrate on professional power tools for the building trade.

The 2000 workers at the factory have been told there are no immediate plans for redundancies.

However, the cost-cutting measure is unlikely to see the same number of workers retained when a new factory in the Czech Republic is up and running.

Lower sales

The moves come after the company reported a fourth-quarter loss of 9.2m - a figure that included restructuring costs of almost 70.9m.

Sales across the group for the fourth quarter fell 3% to 865m.

Weak economic conditions were blamed for significantly lower sales of consumer tools in Europe, particularly in Germany and the UK.

Black & Decker added that it expected sales levels to remain weak during the first half of this year.

Chief executive Nolan Archibald said: "Our restructuring plan is an aggressive step to reduce structural costs and improve our competitive position throughout our businesses."

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