Hundreds protest Ciech restructuring outside Polish company’s HQ

24 October 2012 17:29  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--More than three hundred workers have staged a protest outside the Warsaw headquarters of Ciech against the chemical group's restructuring plans, an action committee of Ciech union representatives said on Wednesday.

According to the Inter-Company Protest Committee of the Ciech Capital Group, the workers demanded a halt to a widening company divestment strategy which they claim would result in hundreds of redundancies.

The protesters included a significant representation from Ciech's Zachem toluene diisocyanate (TDI) subsidiary, the action committee added. Last week, an analyst for Raiffeisen Centrobank predicted that Ciech will dismiss the majority of Zachem’s employees following the announcement of the sale of sections of its TDI business to BASF earlier this month.

However, in a statement, Ciech said it did “not intend to implement any changes to the restructuring programme since it is the only possible variant to be realised in the present market conditions."

“We will try to include our employees into a protection programme in the most efficient way and at the same time we will do our best to ensure that all those interested learn the objective reasons for this necessary restructuring program of the group”, it added.

On 19 October, the action committee urged Poland's government  to set up an independent financial audit of state-controlled Ciech to help assess the necessity of any redundancies the restructuring might cause.

Workers are being made to pay the price of the failed strategies of previous Ciech managements, such as a move into currency options that caused big losses, the committee argued.

On 18 October, analysts at investment bank WOOD & Company backed Ciech's decision to continue down the path of divesting its non-core business segments in favour of greater focus on the company's core, higher margin soda ash business.

Earlier on Wednesday, Polish financial house Dom Maklerski raised its recommendation on Ciech stock to 'Buy' from 'Sell'.

The logic of closing down the loss-making TDI division of Zachem was sound, Dom Maklerski added.


By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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