A number of jobs are at risk at a cable manufacturer in the North East after the company outlined its plans for a âfundamental restructureâ in an attempt to offset its significant financial losses.
AEI Cables employs a 240 strong workforce and company chiefs said that they had met with representative from the GMB Union and all employees to inform them that the business will now enter a period of consultation to discuss possible redundancies.
A spokesman for AEI, based in Birtley, said that it had been making “significant financial losses for a long period of time” and added that it “only continues to function with the financial support and guarantees of its parent company”.
“The company believes that profitability is possible only with a fundamental restructuring and a marked improvement in productivity,” it said.
AEI said that it was unable to put a number on how many redundancies would be necessary, adding that in the worst case scenario the site could close down.
This week, the manufacturer will start formal consultation for at least 45 days, while in the meantime AEI is reassuring its customers that business will carry on as normal and that all orders will be fulfilled for the present and foreseeable future.
The firm has made cables for the Royal Navy, Manchester Airport, the White City complex and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
In March 2014, around 200 jobs were saved at AEI Cables after the business was acquired by a major Middle East based firm.
The Birtley business, which has 175 years of cable-making experience, faced falling into administration in 2011 but has been kept afloat through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
Tough trading conditions meant that the company had to ask creditors to accept a more manageable debt repayment schedule in 2013, before the firmâs fortunes picking up in the following year.