33 jobs at risk as Polestar looks to reduce capacity at Varnicoat

Polestar is planning to make 33 staff redundant at its Varnicoat plant in a bid to cut capacity at the Worcestershire gravure site.

Varnicoat has proposed 28 pressroom redundancies, in addition to five other positions, as part of a switch from four-press to three-press production. The decision was made following a management-led review of operations at the site.

Polestar Group human resources director Simon Jones said: “It’s not a major shake-up. The bindery and newspack have stayed the same, so it’s only one part of the press hall that’s been affected. We want to minimise the impact on the staff and we’re hoping the majority will come from voluntary redundancies.”

The move is reminiscent of the changes made at Varnicoat’s sister gravure site, Polestar Greaves, in February. The Scarborough-based facility stopped production on one of its four presses and made 26 staff redundant.

Jones said that the group had no more plans for its gravure operations and added that the redundancies at Greaves and Varnicoat were part of two separate reviews.

He said: “We looked at Greaves, with Varnicoat and Sheffield, and decided to make the changes at Greaves. We then appointed a new managing director at Varni­coat, who conducted his own review of operations.”

Varnicoat, which employs around 480 staff in total, has started consultations with staff and union representatives with the intention to effect the changes from 22 June.

Varnicoat’s clients include News International, IPC Media, Mirror Group and Northern and Shell.

May 2007 Polestar Varnicoat plans to make 33 staff redundant
April 2007 mergers of Polestar Wheatons, Direct and Applied Solutions, creating £45m division
February 2007 26 staff made redundant at Polestar Greaves following a review of the group’s gravure operations
December 2006 Polestar secures refinancing in £557m debt-for-equity swap


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