150 jobs to go as manufacturer to move work overseas

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150 jobs will be lost in Worcester after Japanese manufacturer Komatsu revealed plans to move work overseas.

Last month the company had announced it would produce its powered roof support solutions through partnerships with manufacturers, acknowledging “there may be changes to the company’s manufacturing footprint as a result of this shift”.

Komatsu acquired the former Meco factory in 2017 but now plans to close it in 2023, two years before the site’s 100th anniversary.

Unite trade union official Stuart Baker told the BBC: “The company has a healthy order book and it’s a case that the powers that be have decided that products can be made cheaper in other areas.”

About 150 jobs will be lost in Worcester, and its Manchester site will also be affected.

Jason Savage, senior vice president Joy underground soft rock for Komatsu Mining Corp, said: “We will continue to provide, and further develop, the design and technical support of engineered PRS solutions to help our customers mine efficiently and safely while enabling access to lower cost manufacturing sources to reduce up-front investment.”

Komatsu employs more than 10,000 people around the world. Its other UK sites are at Swanwick in Derbyshire and Sunderland.

Savage added: “We are focused on working with our employees and our customers to make this transition as smooth as possible and empower the global mining market with the highest levels of longwall automation, remote operation, safety and productivity.”