THE new proprietors of the Majorica artificial pearl company based in Manacor, confirmed to the Workers Commission yesterday that they intend to make 205 staff redundant, some 50 percent of the workforce. The owners also indicated that they intend to sell the lands where the organisation currently has its base in order to set up operations on an industrial estate. José Lopez, secretary of the district branch of the Workers Commission (CCOO) confirmed that those most affected will be staff who are at present working in the jewellery section of the artificial pearl company as this area of production is going to close in Manacor. Nevertheless, the full action plan devised by the shareholders will, almost certainly be revealed next week. The new management team at Majórica, headed up by the managing director Claude Ries, is 50 percent controlled by Dran Limited, a subsidiary of the French jewellery group Saga, while the rest of the shares are in the hands of Catalan investors. Similarly, the new proprietors, who want the new shops to be more attractive, will sell the 44'000 square metre plot of land where the Majorica company is currently located. The ground is licensed for building and its sale will help eliminate the company's debts with banks, government Social Security and suppliers.
Additionally, the managers want to re-negotiate some existing agreements with the staff, hoping to replace already-existing permanent contracts with unsecured working arrangements. The Workers Commission considered that these measures will have a very important social impact in the district, as they will affect 400 families whose lives have depended directly on the production of Majorica jewellery. Lopez indicated that many companies who had businesses that had grown in conjunction with Majorica would also feel the effects of such measures.
The Workers Commission urged the new management to meet with the Balearic government and Manacor Town Council to discuss their intentions, as up until now, no kind of contact had been made in spite of calls for a meeting, by the local mayor. López warned of possible strikes if adequate pay and working condition arrangements were not agreed upon between staff and management.
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