Mainetti staff on reduced week
The continuing downturn in High Street sales has led to one of Jedburgh’s biggest employers moving workers to a three-day week to save costs.
Mainetti, based in the town’s Oxnam Road, made a name for itself as Europe’s largest producer of garment hangers.
At its height, the company employed more than 400 staff, who manuafactured hangers for stores such as Marks and Spencers, Burton, C&A and Jaeger.
There’s a good chance everyone in the UK has at least one hanger made by the company in their wardrobe.
However, with many clothing stores struggling from reduced sales, or closing down altogether, hanger sales have dropped and bosses at Mainetti have had to take action by reducing the number of production days at the plant, which will reduce electric usage and other running costs.
At the Jedburgh manufacturing division, 94 staff are affected, and will have to choose between doing all their work in three long shifts, or accept reduced hours.
The workforce were informed of the plans by bosses last week.
Graham Wilson, the company’s production and engineering director, told The Southern: “Our manufacturing facility at Jedburgh has seen a slowdown in sales, this follows the slow high street sales that is being reported in the media.
“With this in mind we have taken the decision to match our output at our Jedburgh factory by running fewer days in the week.
“We are offering our staff at Jedburgh to work three 12-hour shifts instead of five eight-hour shifts, which will allow their wages to stay the same.
“Should any workers chose not to work the 12 hour pattern then they will be offered short time working as an alternative.
“The situation will continue to be reviewed for any upturn in demand.”
Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton told us: “It’s very worrying news to hear that Mainetti have decided to reduce the working week to three days.
“I know a lot of people who are dependant on this company and will be affected by this sad news.
Mainetti has given a lot to Jedburgh over the years and the townspeople have responded positively to the investment this company has brought.
“It is a testing time, but it is hoped that these measures will stabilise the company and make sure it is able to operate for many years to come.”
And his colleague Jim Brown said the uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union is also to blame.
He told us: “High street sales are suffering a downturn but Brexit uncertainty is also a real concern for both businesses and individuals,
“Jedburgh is still reeling from the bad news over the mothballing of the proposed Mossburn Distillery before Christmas, closely followed by the closure of small businesses and banks on the High Street. I think we all have to wake up to the damage that could be caused to the Scottish economy.
“Meanwhile, my heartfelt concerns go out to the workforce affected by this latest downturn in trade.”