220 workers laid off as photo plant shuts

220 workers laid off as photo plant shuts
More than 200 workers have lost their job. Photo:www.ilfordarea.ch
Fribourg-based photographic paper producer Ilford Imaging has failed to find a new buyer and has been forced into receivership.

The company told its 220 staff at the Marly plant on Tuesday they would have to find new jobs, the Swiss news agency SDA reported.

The manufacturer of products for the photographic and print industries has been hit by the difficult situation in the photo production sector.

Ilford has also suffered as a result of the strong franc as most of its sales are generated abroad.

“We searched actively for new investors; unfortunately without success,” director Lars Sommerhäuser told SDA.

A decision will follow in the next few days as to whether the company is officially declared bankrupt.

“We now need to find a solution to ensure that the workers receive at least part of their July salary,” Sommerhäuser said.

The workers’ pay for June was partly paid by Ilford and partly by the cantonal unemployment insurance.

The Employees Switzerland association has called on Ilford to assume responsibility towards its staff and help them in the search for work.

It deplored the fact that no redundancy plan had been worked out with unions.

Ilford, a former subsidiary of chemicals concern Ciba, had at the start of the month still believed it had realistic chances of finding an investor.

The company had been in financial difficulty since British investor Paradigm Global Partners ended its involvement on July 1st.

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