The Luxguard plant in Dudelange whose furnace will be mothballed in July
Photo: Maison moderne/archives
The two sites of glass manufacturer Guardian in Dudelange and Bascharage are to merge, according to Luxembourg union OGBL.
The union said it was informed of the merger via registered letter received on 30 June. It said the management of Guardian Luxguard had announced the takeover of the Luxguard I Bascharage by that of Dudelange, for 6 August.
Deputy central secretary for OGBL Alain Rolling explained in a press conference on Wednesday that his union wanted guarantees for the 450 staff working at the two sites. Management has reportedly frozen investments until 2021, a year when the group will mark its fortieth anniversary in Luxembourg.
OGBL has asked for a clear industrial project from the firm, which announced on 17 June the start of consultations with staff delegations related to the “possible cooling of the float glass furnace in Dudelange and the possible merger of the operational legal entities in Luxembourg.” It appears the merger of the two production sites is now officially a strategy.
As for the Dudelange furnace, it will be shut down in July, according to Rolling. The future of its 200 employees remains unclear.
The idea to close the Dudelange furnace first surfaced in 2018. Rolling said the company management never gave any confirmation, however. Rolling said a new furnace would set the firm back €80m-€100m, an investment he believes it can afford since both sites have been profitable in recent years.
Guardian began its European activities in Luxembourg in 1981, establishing its headquarters in the grand duchy in 2016. But now its strategy appears to be focused in Poland. “There are capacities in Poland equivalent to three sites,” president of the Bascharage delegation Vincent Collin said.
Some 800 lorries leave this site every month with glass products mainly for construction. The pandemic has lightened the order books, and although Dudelange has ceased production, Bascharage has been running at 100% of capacity since the end of lockdown.
The OGBL does not rule out industrial action to get its voice heard.
“We have ideas. But for the moment, it is still too early for concrete action. We need to consult with the employees,” Rolling said.
This was translated from an article originally published on Paperjam.lu