Electrolux threatens Nuremburg closure

Swedish electrical appliances giant Electrolux said on Monday it was considering shutting down the Nuremberg factory of its German arm AEG before the end of next year in reaction to an indefinite strike being staged at the plant.

A premature closure of the site was “an alternative,” an Electrolux spokesman said.

“We have to start looking for alternatives in order to supply customers,” he said.

Sources suggested the factory could be shut down as early as this year.

AEG’s Nuremberg plant, which makes dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, is scheduled to be shut down by the end of 2007.

But the factory’s 1,750 employees went on indefinite strike on January 20th to try and secure better compensation for workers and the industrial action is beginning to squeeze supplies.

The powerful IG Metall union slammed the threat of premature closure as a way of putting pressure on the workforce.

And the union’s regional chief in Bavaria, Wolfgang Neugebauer, complained that “half-truths and lies being spread by the Swedish parent” would harm negotiations scheduled to re-start on Thursday.

In an interview with the Sunday newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, Electrolux chief Hans Stråberg insisted that the decision to close the Nuremberg factory was “irrevocable”. And he accused IG Metall of instrumentalising the strike, saying its sole interest was preventing the decline in union membership.

“IG Metall is destroying jobs in Germany,” Stråberg raged.