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Sulzer takes steps to protect employees after sell off

Sulzer workers protesting at job losses following the announcement last September Keystone

The technology group, Sulzer, has signed a declaration of intent with its social partners in a bid to save as many jobs as possible in the wake of a major restructuring.

Some 4,200 employees in Switzerland are likely to be affected by Sulzer’s decision in September to sell off five of its divisions so it can concentrate on medical devices, and surface and materials technology.

A statement on Wednesday from Sulzer headquarters in Winterthur said the declaration had been signed by the management, the umbrella organisation of the engineering industry – Swissmem – as well as staff associations and the unions.

Potential buyers of the divisions up for sale – infra, pumps, textile, turbo and Burckhardt – will be urged in particular to maintain current working conditions. Wherever possible, current production sites should also be maintained.

The declaration of intent also underlines that buyers should maintain places for apprentices at current levels and assure staff training programmes.

In September, trade union condemned the restructuring, which will result in 300 job losses worldwide, half of them in Switzerland.

Out of a total of 21,000 employees worldwide (6,200 in Switzerland), some 14,600 employees are affected by the decision to sell off the five divisions.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR