210 jobs face axe as Kodak closes Leeds plant

THE trade union Unite today demanded an urgent meeting with Kodak following the photographic company’s announcement that its Leeds plant would close with the loss of 210 jobs.

Monday, 3rd March 2014, 4:52 pm
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls at the Kodak factory in Morley in 2011, with plant manager Mike Harding.

Kodak said the Morley site was set to close as part of a global review of its operations. The Leeds factory makes printing plates for the commercial printing industry, production of which will move to Europe and China.

Unite regional officer Chris Daly said: “This is terrible news for the workers and their families, and a blow to manufacturing capacity in Leeds.

“Unite understood that the Leeds site was a profitable one for Kodak and we are seeking an urgent meeting with the management to discuss the situation. This is a significant loss of skilled jobs that can’t easily be replaced.”

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Unite claimed a number of jobs are would be lost this summer, with the remaining workforce losing going in the middle of 2015. The production at Leeds will be transferred to other Kodak sites globally.

Robert Price, general manager of Kodak’s Worldwide Plate Operations, said: “Our employees in Leeds have a long history of capably serving our customers with the quality products they have come to expect from Kodak.

“However, with the investments we made last year in the new high-speed manufacturing line, the capacity of our Osterode plant can now meet future demand growth from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

American-based Kodak emerged from Chapter 11 restructuring in September, having filed in the US for bankruptcy protection in January 2012, reducing its head count and shedding unprofitable business units during the process. The company is now focused on its commercial imaging business.