Stoke-on-Trent-based tableware manufacturer, Steelite International, has announced plans to cut 20% of its UK workforce.
The company has been forced to make savings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and in anticipation of reduced demand for its products.
Steelite International operates from a UK headquarters in Middleport and employs 800 people, with 160 jobs across various levels set to go as part of a business review to save costs.
The headquarters is not yet fully up and running, with a skeleton team working on site. The company has told employees that they will remain on furlough leave for the foreseeable future, after originally planning to ramp up production at the beginning of this month.
Louise Griffin, group HR director said: “We are constantly reviewing our overhead costs of the business to reflect the trading position at this time and to accommodate the impact of global market trading post-pandemic.
“While we are making operational changes to accommodate this and some savings will be seen as a result, the hospitality marketplace has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and our anticipated growth will not be realised due to this sudden and dramatic downturn in trading we have seen in recent months.
“No business could have predicted these unprecedented times in which we now find ourselves and unfortunately difficult decisions must be made.
“Our priority during this process will be treat everyone with dignity, fairness and respect and we hope that these measures will go some way to sustain Steelite’s future and the livelihoods of our colleagues that remain with us.”
Steelite added that applications for voluntary redundancies, or flexible working arrangements, are now open in a bid to reduce the number of compulsory job losses.