200 bed jobs will go in Batley

Issue 510

A BED factory in Batley will be shut by the end of April, with the loss 200 jobs, it has been confirmed.
Staff at Soothillbased Rest Assured were told last Thursday by owners the Silentnight Group that they would be made redundant.
It follows the end of a 90day consultation with workers and unions on moving production to Silentnight’s Lancashire headquarters.
Staff are believed to have offered to take a pay cut in a bid to keep the factory open, but this was rejected.
Batley employees are to leave between now and March 30.
The news comes as the GMB union released figures this week showing 4,800 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Kirklees since 200607.
Data from a national survey showed there were 34,300 working in the sector before the credit crunch. It now stands at 29,500.
The GMB, quoting Office for National Statistics figures, reported that 706,300 jobs were lost from UK manufacturing in the same period.
General secretary Paul Kenny called on the Government to intervene and added: “Unless action is taken, the economic outlook is bleak.” Other figures, based on a claimant count, show one in 20 people of working age in Batley, Birstall and Birkenshaw is on the dole.
Silentnight chairman Adrian Fawcett said of his firm’s decision: “Improved efficiencies need to be realised.
“We need a base where both our production capacity and costs are aligned with realistic sales opportunities.
“The consequences of this decision on all our employees at Batley, many of whom have given many years of service, is greatly regretted.”

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