Cummins factory in Oakham is to close with 31 redundancies

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GENERATOR firm Cummins is closing a factory it co-owns in Oakham.

Markon Sawafuji, which makes alternators at its premises in Lands’ End Way, Oakham, is a joint venture between Cummins Generator Technologies in Stamford and Sawafuji in Japan.

Cummins will pull out today and Sawafuji will vacate the factory in April.

All 31 staff are facing redundancy and say that despite knowing about the closure since September, no-one has found another job to go to.

One said: “The feeling in the factory is not good at the moment.

“We don’t feel that we’ve been treated well and have not been told much information.

“They like to think we are being helpful and doing everything we can but it’s only because we have to.”

A spokesman for Cummins said the joint firm had not dominated the market in the way it had intended.

Production will now be moved to Mexico and Japan and the factory is for sale.

She added: “Cummins had a 40 per cent share in the company and Sawafuji a 60 per cent share.

“We joined forces to create a small two-pole alternator. The main market for this is north America so we at Cummins are moving production to our site in Mexico to be closer to the market.”

Staff are being offered counselling and advice on applying for new jobs. The spokesman said: “All positions available at Cummins are being made available to them. We are providing assistance for them and are helping with CV writing and interview skills.

“We are also offering a Level 2 and 3 NVQ in Performing Manufacturing Operation to increase employability.”

The staff spokesman said: “There are no openings at Cummins at the moment so there are no jobs for us to apply for.

“Some people have been doing their NVQ courses but no-one has managed to find work yet. The bulk of us will go in April.”

Markon was established in 1959 in Market Overton and moved to Oakham in 1960. The firm was purchased by Newage, now Cummins Generator Technologies, in 1987. In September, 2001, the joint venture between Sawafuji and Cummins was launched.

No-one from Sawafuji, which is based in Japan, was available to comment.