14 December 2012 16:49 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Poland's Ciech group has informed employment officials that up to 600 employees out of 695 will be made redundant as a consequence of the closure of its lossmaking Zachem toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) business, a labour office said on Friday.
Ciech was arranging substantial compensation packages for the 593-600 affected workers through talks with the unions, the office, in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, where Zachem is based, added.
On October 15, state-controlled Ciech announced it was selling some of its Zachem TDI business assets to German chemicals giant and TDI rival BASF.
The transaction meant Zachem would have to stop TDI production because of a non-competition obligation embedded in the deal, it added.
The announcement of the deal sparked demonstrations led by an action committee of union representatives who have asked ministers to intervene.
Analysts, however, have generally supported the strategy of Ciech's management to close the TDI unit and focus on Ciech's core, higher margin soda ash business and pay down substantial debts.
One of those analysts, Dominik Niszcz of Austria-based Raiffeisen Centrobank, said he thought Ciech would continue to sell Zachem's TDI products until the transaction with BASF is finalised, probably very soon in the first quarter of next year.
BASF would then take over supplying the Ciech clients with TDI, he added.
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