Bridgestone tyres close factory in PE

This follows the closure of the tyre manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth but the Brits one in North West province will not be affected.

In August this year, year the company did mention it will face closure as a result of many factors such as financial performances, a variety of economic conditions, changes that are not bias towards industrial and off-the-road tyres being phased out in the market, as a result of a growing trend in the production and use of radial tyres globally.

Efforts to keep the plant going, including the sale of the factory to investors, were unsuccessful and the plant was unable to continue running, a decision that company directors say they only took after exhausting all alternative options.

BSAF did consult with unions and initiated a Section 189 notice, along with a 60-day consultative process with its 252 affected workers in compliance with Labour Relations Act.

“The proposal to close the plant was not taken lightly and the impact on employees has been taken into account from the outset,” says Jacques Fourie, BSAF chief executive. “We endeavored to treat employees with the utmost compassion and fairness to support them through the change, while adhering to all legal requirements and due diligence.”

“The unfortunate reality is that the plant is simply unable to produce the radial tyre that industry is rapidly moving towards,” says Fourie. “Upgrading the factory to produce radial tyres would have necessitated an investment in a completely new multibillion-rand plant, which is not feasible or justifiable under any circumstances, especially in the current economy.”

BSAF says it will ensure all the necessary support is provided to workers as the operation comes to a halt on 15 November. 

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