KORTRIJK, Belguim (June 26, 2008) — N.V. Bekaert S.A. plans to close a steel tire cord plant in Lanklaar, Belgium, and consolidate its production at other company factories, principally at a plant in Aalter, Belgium.
The intended closing of the plant in Lanklaar will affect 136 jobs. Management said it regrets the need for this measure and will enter into the first phase of information and consultation with employee representatives, as required by law, leading to negotiations on the agreement of a social plan.
Bekaert cited recent sustained pressure on selling prices for steel cord products in Europe—the result of structural changes in the steel cord market—as the reason for the change. Among other things, customers are transferring their production to Central Europe from Western Europe and Bekaerts's competitors are building their presence there.