Fewer redundancies than previously announced at Ekornes
The number of redundancies and temporary layoffs at Ekornes is smaller and less dramatic than previously estimated. Ekornes had said that 180 people could be made redundant due to a fall in order receipts. However, cooperation with the workforce to reduce overtime has achieved results.
A total of 111 Ekornes employees have been made redundant, while 62 have been temporarily laid off. It had previously been announced that 180 could be made redundant and 80 laid off as a result of a fall in orders received.
“We are extremely pleased that the situation is less dramatic than expected for both Ekornes and our employees,” says CEO Nils-Fredrik Drabløs.
The reduction in job losses and layoffs is mainly due to a planned decrease in overtime and natural wastage.
Following the redundancies Ekornes now has some 1,300 employees at six production facilities in Norway, manufacturing around 1,400 Stressless® seat units per day in addition to Ekornes® Collection sofas and Svane® mattresses.
Help to find work
“While employees’ commitment and cooperation has been fantastic, the situation remains difficult for those who have lost their jobs or been laid off,” says Drabløs. “It is still Ekornes’s aim to bring those who have been laid off temporarily back to work and then offer new jobs to all those who have been made redundant.”
Ekornes is working closely with local employment and benefits (NAV) offices to help redundant workers find new jobs or pursue educational opportunities. In Fetsund Ekornes has retained an external company to assist those who have been made redundant to find new jobs.
Although the level of orders received by Ekornes at the start of the year was better than had been feared, it is still too early to say if the difficult market situation is over. “We hope it will not be necessary to make additional capacity reductions in 2009,” says CEO Nils-Fredrik Drabløs.
Ekornes is now looking ahead. The company continues to make substantial investments in marketing, product development and in the factories. The aim is to emerge from the financial crisis more competitive and with a stronger market position.