Management of Alliance International today informed the works council of its intention to consolidate the European manufacturing of commercial laundry equipment into one plant in the Czech Republic and to cease equipment manufacturing and engineering in Wevelgem during the first quarter of 2015. This would involve 166 jobs out of a total 205.
Alliance International is part of Alliance Laundry Systems, a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of commercial laundry equipment used in laundromats, multi-housing laundries, on-premises laundries and the home segment. In Belgium, the company is well established under the IPSO and Primus brands.
The market for commercial laundry equipment has been undergoing a structural shift toward more environment-friendly products with more sophisticated controls and features that require substantial investment in a range of technologies favoring manufacturers with economies of scale.
Increasing investment needs to meet future energy and water regulations globally coincide with increasing cost and price pressure to maintain profitability, leading the industry to shift manufacturing to low-cost-countries.
After careful considerations, management expressed its intention to consolidate the European manufacturing into one plant located in Pribor, Czech Republic and to cease equipment manufacturing and engineering in Wevelgem during the first quarter of 2015. Support functions would be right-sized accordingly.
This evolution could have an impact on 166 jobs in Wevelgem.
“With this move we would be able to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible and to further develop our local and international markets with leading brands, technology and service capabilities,” declares Pascal Demarets, Vice President Operations. “This is a difficult announcement for our employees and their families. If our intention is confirmed, we will have a constructive dialogue with our social partners and expect to be able to find the appropriate solution in the interests of all affected employees.”