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Slupsk. Scania closes the factory – the Ministry of Development and Technology responds to Zbigniew Konwiński’s interpellation

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The Scania concern has decided to close the factory in Słupsk in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. The company is currently the largest employer in the city – Zbigniew Konwiński from the Civic Coalition pointed out in the parliamentary interpellation. The parliamentarian alarms that “the scale of both social and economic effects will be enormous”. There is a response from the Ministry of Development and Technology.

Zbigniew Konwiński from the Civic Coalition addressed an interpellation to the Minister of Development and Technology regarding the liquidation of the Scania bus factory in Słupsk. At the end of May, the company announced that it had decided to close the factory in Pomerania.

The KO MP pointed out that the factory in Słupsk was established in 1992, initially as a joint venture of Scania-Kapena SA. “Scania Production Słupsk SA is a Polish factory of the global concern Scania – a leading manufacturer of heavy trucks, city and tourist buses” – he added.

Due to the closure of the factory in Słupsk, 847 people are to lose their jobs by the end of the first quarter of 2024. Konwiński noted that Scania Production Słupsk SA is currently the largest employer in this Pomeranian city. “Taking into account the fact that there are about 91,000 residents registered in Słupsk, the scale of both social and economic effects will be huge” – assessed the parliamentarian.

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Therefore, Zbigniew Konwiński asked, among others, whether representatives of the Polish government plan to urgently establish a dialogue with the management of the Scania concern in order to encourage Scania to change its decision to liquidate the factory in Słupsk and what actions the government envisages to take to mitigate the social and economic effects caused by the liquidation of the largest employer in Słupsk.

“Group layoffs to be spread over time”

Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Grzegorz Piechowiak, in response to the interpellation, pointed out that Scania is currently a place of work for 1,047 people employed in two locations – the bus body production plant at ul. Grunwaldzka 12 in Słupsk (847 employees) and the K-type chassis production plant in Kobylnica near Słupsk (200 employees).

“By July next year, the Scania Production Słupsk SA factory is to stop operating at Grunwaldzka Street in Słupsk” – noted the deputy minister. “The production is to be phased out gradually and the bus body factory is finally closed. Group redundancies are to be spread over time. The group redundancies process will last until July 2024” – added the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism.

Grzegorz Piechowiak said that negotiations with trade unions are currently underway. “The Pomeranian Regional Development Agency (PARR) is in contact with the Voivodship Labor Office in Gdańsk and the Poviat Labor Office in Słupsk in order to take the necessary actions, in consultation with the entrepreneur, for the redundant employees. PARR SA is also in direct contact with the management of the department Scania HR, who was shown our readiness to support employees whose jobs will be liquidated” – assured the deputy minister. The Minister of Development and Technology exercises ownership supervision over PARR.

It was proposed, among others organization of a job fair/job exchange/cooperation exchange for Scania employees with the participation of zone companies and companies from the region at the Słupsk Technology Incubator. In addition, there was an idea for PARR, in cooperation with its partners, Polska Agencja Inwestycji i Handlu SA and Invest in Pomerania from Gdańsk (ARP), to acquire a strategic investor to develop the real estate or possibly also employees at ul. Grunwaldzka in Słupsk.

Deputy Minister on Scania’s decision

The deputy minister cited data showing that in 2022 Scania produced over 300 buses, which is half as much as in 2021. According to the deputy minister, the bus segment, like the entire automotive industry, was strongly affected by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The result was a significant increase in the cost of production components, which was closely related to broken supply chains, primarily in the area of ​​electronic components. The market situation is also affected by the Russian-Ukrainian war (lack of access to cheaper raw materials, e.g. steel), inflation or electricity pricesPiechowiak pointed out.

“The above factors affect the decisions made by car and bus manufacturers, who must act in accordance with applicable regulations and standards, and at the same time ensure the profitability of their operations” – noted the deputy head of the Ministry of Tourism and Technology.

At the same time, Grzegorz Piechowiak announced that on December 31, 2021, Scania obtained from the Pomeranian Regional Development Agency a decision to support the investment in Kobylnica near Słupsk, where K-type chassis are produced. The support is provided for a period of 12 years. “The planned production volume of these chassis according to the business plan is from 3084 units in 2022 to 5592 units in 2026” – we read in response to the inquiry.

“The above decision introduces the obligation to hire new employees until September 30, 2023 and maintain it until the end of September 2026.” – noted the Deputy Minister of Development.

Main photo source: FStockLuk / Shutterstock.com

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