One of Tetra Pak's offices in Lund. Photo: Agnes Henriksson Fjeldstad/TT
Seventy staff at the company's Lund plant were informed last week that they would be laid off, with a further 80 receiving the same unwelcome news at an information meeting on Tuesday.
Christina Appelgren, the company's press officer in Sweden, said the lay-offs came because the company now needed employees with a different set of skills.
“As the nature of our business adapts, with ever-more focus on automation, digitalization and sustainability, the competences we require in order to compete successfully and grow the business in new directions are also changing,” she told The Local in a written statement.
“In practice, this means recruiting critical new skills into Tetra Pak from outside the organization, while restructuring or re-aligning our ongoing activities when we see opportunities to help strengthen our competitiveness.”
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Appelgren said that consultations were now under way with “local employee representatives” on the proposed organizational changes, which she confirmed would hit about 150 people.
“We will always share any relevant business matters with our employees first and of course we recognize this is unsettling and worrying to the potentially affected employees,” she said.
But he would not comment on whether further redundancies would be necessary.
We need to allow this to take some time. It’s too early to comment in more detail on what’s going to happen.”
Founded in Lund in 1951 by Ruben Rausing to market the water-proof, sterile, tetrahedroid paper packages developed by the laboratory scientist Erik Wallenberg, Tetra Pak now employs close to 25,000 people worldwide.
The company's headquarters is officially in Lausanne, Switzerland, for tax reasons, but Lund is still the site of many key functions, with some 3,800 employees, including the marketing department for the group's European operations, and staff developing technical services and processes.