Woodyard workers still unsure of their future

Allan Brothers, Tweedmouth

Allan Brothers, Tweedmouth

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Allan Brothers staff are still awaiting a decision on their future, with up to 68 jobs at risk if work is transferred to Poland.

A month-long formal consultation process between management, the two main unions and employee representatives has now ended.

A spokesman for Allan Brothers said: “This has been both an open and productive process with employees’ representatives and the relevant union organisations.

“Following the conclusion of this process a decision will be made by our parent company Inwido.

“At that stage we will then be engaging with the employee representative body and employees directly to clarify the outcome.

“In the meantime, we would like to thank the staff for their patience and continued production during this very difficult period.”

The timber window and door specialist is proposing to restructure its business, transferring production of some products to its sister plant in Poland.

The company says it needs to restructure its UK business to ensure its long-term sustainability in this country.

Its main manufacturing site at Ord Road in Tweedmouth is the main focus of this potential change, which would see production of price sensitive, commodity window casement products being transferred to eastern Europe.

It says there has been a fast growing trend in the past five years for higher levels of imports from eastern Europe in this commodity product.

Danny Hughes, Inwido UK MD, said the company had ‘suffered significantly’ from this market change resulting in a loss of volumes and earnings over the last three years.

It warned that up to 68 jobs may be affected by these changes, potentially leading to a mixture of voluntary and compulsory redundancies.

However, Mr Hughes has also stated that if the proposal is implemented it will allow the Berwick facility, with future investment, to successfully focus on high-value crafted products such as sliding sash windows, of which there is a strong and proud heritage of manufacturing in Berwick.

Allan Brothers currently employs around 150 people in Berwick.

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