Smiths Medical has announced its intention to transfer 534 manufacturing jobs from its facility in Hythe, Kent. The majority of the proposed job transfers will move to existing Smiths Medical manufacturing facilities in Mexico. Proposals were put to the workforce today that are likely to see manufacturing at Hythe end within two years.
The company has, however, reaffirmed the role of Hythe as the headquarters of Smiths Medical International and as its centre of excellence for airway management and reproductive health products. These activities are expected to employ around 220 people engaged in R&D, finance, marketing and other support services. Hythe will also see the creation of a new European shared service centre.
This announcement marks the next important step in Smiths Medicals rationalisation programme that follows its acquisition of Medex in March 2005. Over the past two months the company also announced the closure of two US manufacturing facilities in Duluth, Georgia and Wampsville, New York with production transferring to other Smiths Medical locations in the US.
Martin Jamieson, Managing Director Smiths Medical International said: This move is driven by the global competitive environment for our business. Our competitors have all made similar moves to low-cost countries, which makes todays announcement unavoidable. We are sorry that this will affect many of our employees and their families but pleased that Hythe will still offer employment to more than two hundred people in some key functions. We will, with immediate effect, commence a consultation and communication process with employees and their representatives
Notes to the Editor
Smiths Group is a global business, listed on the London Stock Exchange. Smiths focuses on high performance applications, building and sustaining market-leading businesses in growth sectors. Smiths has four divisions: Aerospace, Detection, Medical and Specialty. Together these employ 32,000 people at over 250 major facilities in 50 countries. For more information visit www.smiths-group.com
Smiths Medical is a supplier of specialist medical devices to global markets. Smiths Medical comprises three product groupings: Safety Devices, Critical Care and Medication Delivery & Patient Monitoring (MDPM). Smiths Medical customers include hospitals and other healthcare providers worldwide. Manufacturing is concentrated in the US, the UK, Mexico and Italy. Smiths Medical employs nearly 7,500 people.
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