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Levi Strauss closes the factory in Płock. Meeting with employees. President Andrzej Nowakowski comments

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In accordance with the law, we have started the process of group layoffs – the Levi Strauss & Co. press office told the tvn24.pl business editorial team. 650 people will lose their jobs at the factory in Płock. – This is a difficult moment for employees, and also a trauma for their families. I was extremely surprised by the company's decision – commented Andrzej Nowakowski, mayor of the city, in an interview with the tvn24.pl business editorial team.

Levi Strauss & Co. press office In response to questions from the business editorial team of tvn24.pl, it announced that it plans to close its clothing production plant in Płock. Production in this location is scheduled to end by mid-June 2024.

“In accordance with the law, we have started the process of group layoffs, and the company, in negotiations with trade unions, has already proposed a severance package that goes beyond standard severance pay and statutory requirements,” it was reported.

“There was no indication that such dramatic decisions would be made”

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On April 8, the President of Płock, Andrzej Nowakowski, organized a meeting with the plant's employees “to talk about the situation, forms of help and possible solutions to this difficult situation.”

– There are 650 people, mainly residents of Płock. I was extremely surprised by the company's decision, because I saw many investments in specialized machines in the area. Additionally, renovations were carried out in the halls, photovoltaics and a new gate. There was no indication that such dramatic decisions would be made – Andrzej Nowakowski said in an interview with tvn24.pl after the meeting.

At the same time, he emphasized that recent years have been very difficult for entrepreneurs. – It's about labor costs, the rising minimum wage, high health insurance premiums, and energy prices. Of course, I am not explaining this decision. My only guess is that the price of trousers produced in Poland, given the labor and energy costs, is higher than in Asia, he said.

He emphasized in our conversation that for the factory workers, “this is a difficult moment, it is also a trauma for their families.” – They are now focusing on negotiating the best possible terms of severance pay – said Andrzej Nowakowski.

– As a city, we are using all possible means to help them. Starting with cooperation with entrepreneurs who are even now coming forward with job offers. In Levi, most people work as seamstresses. Companies from around Łódź and even from Silesia also need such employees. We are activating the entire labor office apparatus and supporting activities in possible retraining or self-employment – said the president of Płock.

Read also: Important changes for employees in the new year. “We need to keep an eye on them”

Meeting of the President of Płock, Andrzej Nowakowski, with employees of Levi Strauss in PłockPAP/Szymon Łabiński

“We don't make these decisions lightly.”

The Levi Strauss & Co press office said in response to our questions about the factory closure: “We do not make these decisions lightly, and we have carefully analyzed various alternatives before making this decision.”

“We took into account the constantly rising production costs, as well as the increasingly difficult labor market in Poland, which poses a serious challenge to employing qualified workers and maintaining the plant at full efficiency,” explained Levi Strauss & Co.

It explained that “given the rapidly changing operational landscape and evolving market needs, at LS&Co. we are working on changes throughout the supply chain to ensure agility, manage costs and support long-term strategic goals, which in this case means seeking a more vertical operating model “.

What does it mean? “This involves moving all production stages, such as cutting, sewing and finishing processes, to one place so that there is no need to import production materials from other locations or countries, as was the case in Płock,” the press office reported.

It also reported that “to be competitive, significant investments in the plant would be necessary, which would make production in this market unprofitable.”

“Nothing announced this even before Easter”

An employee of the Levi Strauss plant in Płock admitted that the information about the factory's liquidation came as a surprise. – There was no announcement of this before Easter. It was known that the situation was worse, that the situation in Europe and in the world was more difficult, and that energy costs were rising. We all hoped that maybe by the end of the year, maybe two more years. There was certainly no thought that this was it, that we would return to work after the holidays and find out that the factory was closing, she said.

The Levi Strauss production plant in Płock was launched in 1992. It operates on an area of ​​40,000 square meters. square meters belonging to the city, leased on preferential terms.

Read also: The legendary Polish factory ceases operations after 200 years. Its products were used by Barack Obama

Author:Joanna Rubin

Main photo source: Google Maps



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