A major employer that has recently invested millions of pounds into its facilities is now asking staff to volunteer for redundancy.
Over a two year period Federal Mogul, which owns brake lining manufacturer Ferodo, plans to spend approximately £13million on revamping its Chapel–en–le–Frith site, claiming it will safeguard jobs.
However the American–based firm is now asking for staff to volunteer for redundancy.
A statement released by Federal Mogul said: “In December 2012, we opened discussions with the unions and employees to look at ways in which we could reduce head count to increase site competitiveness alongside the company’s multimillion pound investments in training and new facilities, all intended to help the Chapel site win new business that will protect its long–term future.
“This is particularly important now as European registrations fell by 8.2 per cent in 2012 and declined by a further 7.1 per cent in the first four months of this year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
“An agreement for a redundancy programme was reached and a number of employees have volunteered to take part.
“The programme has been well known amongst the staff for some time and we continue to make it open for voluntary participation.”
In order to pay for the improvements, the company has offered up part of its site for a housing development – a move that added another £1.6million to the coffer.
The investments were made to pay for modernisation work as part of the Site Transformation Plan, which included new floors, insulation, low energy heating and new process machines and systems designed to bring the firm into the 21st Century.
By doing this, Federal Mogul claims it has avoided having to abandon the High Peak site altogether, which would leave its 468 local employees in the lurch.
Trade union Unite represents the majority of workers at the factory.
Unite representative Kevin Hepworth said: “They have spent a lot of money recently reinvesting in the site.
“There are probably more people than is needed now it’s a modern building than when it was old and run down.”
He added the hope was that there would be sufficient volunteers to make compulsory redundancies unnecessary.
Some workers have already taken voluntary redundancy, however Federal Mogul would not state how many.
Likewise the firm would not confirm how many people it needed to reduce its workforce by.
Ferodo was founded in Chapel in 1897 by Herbert Frood.
Over the years the firm has been at the forefront of the development of friction materials.
It became part of Federal Mogul in 1998.