Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Hundreds of jobs go at Ericsson

Mats Granryd of Ericsson explains why the company is leaving after only a few months at the site

Telecommunications firm Ericsson is to close a site in Coventry with the loss of 700 jobs.

The company is to withdraw its research and development and global service delivery activities from Ansty Park by the middle of next year.

The move is part of Ericsson's "ongoing global cost reduction activities" and is subject to consultations with trade unions and employee forums.

The Unite union said the news had come as a "shock" to workers.

National officer Peter Skyte said the announcement had come as a "bolt from the blue" and the union would resist the company's proposals.

Mats Granryd, from the Swedish firm, said it was "sad news" for employees.

The waves will be felt across the city
Louise Bennett
Chamber of Commerce

"We have to work continuously to increase efficiency and lower our cost base whilst ensuring we deliver solutions designed to meet our global customers' needs," he explained.

The workers at the site in Coventry, which only opened in May, handle global research and development for the company's infrastructure business.

Ericsson has said it intends to move research and development to countries where there were already "significant scale and product synergies", while research and development for new products will switch to lower cost-base countries.

It said the Coventry site was no longer viable for its purposes.

'Total disaster'

Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson called the news a "total disaster" for the city and for manufacturing in the West Midlands and the UK.

"The Ericsson investment there we went to such trouble to get - advancing the completion of the site for them.

"The provision of that particular site was all done do that we could get them in.

"Then without a word to anybody they decide to close the whole thing," he said.

"It's a total disaster."

Mr Robinson said he would be asking the business secretary, Lord Mandelson, to hold a meeting with the firm.

"We can't take this lying down," he said.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said it was a major blow.

"But now we will see 700 skilled jobs going and it has come as a shock to each individual and the waves will be felt across the city," she said.

"What is absolutely vital now is that stakeholders in Ansty work together to ensure its future success and to attract employers to the site for the good of the future of the city and the region."

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