Luxury boat firm set to cut 85 positions

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Luxury yacht manufacturer Fairline and union officials were set to hold talks today after it announced 85 jobs at the firm are at risk.

Representatives from Unite were due to meet managers from the boat company, which has its head office in Oundle and manufacturing plant in Corby, following its announcement yesterday.

A company statement said: “Following the acquisition by Better Capital last July, Fairline’s trading performance has continued to improve and the business has met its monthly financial targets during this period.

“While sales are expected to increase significantly in 2012, this improvement falls short of the original forecast.

“Therefore, to protect its profitability and capability to invest in this competitive market, Fairline announces the commencement of a month-long period of consultation which may lead to 85 job losses, of which 65 are direct and 20 indirect.

“This regrettable action will ensure that the business is sized appropriately to deliver the expected sales volumes into 2013 and beyond.”

The company statement added that despite the news, Fairline will be launching two new boats at the Southampton Boat Show 2012 and a new 45 foot boat early in 2013, the statement added.

Adrian Jones, regional officer for Unite, said the news was “very disappointing”.

He said: “The statement from Fairline is not one from a company making a loss, but is talking about protecting its profitability and increasing sales this year.

“This looks like venture capitalists wanting to squeeze the workers so they can make even more profits.

“This is irresponsible capitalism, especially in area that has been hit so hard in recent months with job losses. With the way the Corby job market has been hit, it’s another smack in the mouth for Corby people where jobs are few and far between.”

A Fairline worker said previous redundancies had taken place as recently as November.

The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It’s just a bit worrying.

“We had four days of holiday taken from us last year which we agreed to, to help the company out and to safeguard future jobs.

“It’s not a nice atmosphere.

“They are making people work a lot harder and it’s causing stresses and strains.”