Natuzzi restructuring plan wins Italian government's approval
Larry Thomas -- Furniture Today, October 16, 2013
SANTERAMO IN COLLE, Italy — Leather upholstery major Natuzzi said it has reached agreements with the Italian government and trade unions representing its workers to reorganize operations in Italy and reduce the number of previously announced layoffs.
Under terms of the agreement, Natuzzi will close two manufacturing plants in Italy and lay off 1,506 workers. The company also said it would make investments in product development, marketing, communications, logistics and related items over the next five years "aimed at further developing the Natuzzi Italia brand and safeguarding Italian production."
The company earlier said it would lay off 1,726 workers in Italy.
As part of the reorganization plan, Natuzzi said it will review procurement and delivery processes to streamline logistics, continue to automate leather-cutting operations, and expand moving production lines.
Plus, some production of its Leather Editions brand, which is sold in Europe, will be shifted from Italy to Natuzzi's factory in Romania.
In addition to the layoffs, Natuzzi said it hopes to reduce its workforce by another 600 people through voluntary resignations and retirements. The company said it would make "incentive payments" to those who choose to leave before October 2014.
However, the company also said it may recall up to 200 manufacturing employees and 20 corporate employees in Italy for production of recliners.
"I would like to express my most sincere appreciation for the work carried out by all stakeholders that have taken part in these intense months of negotiation," founder and Chairman Pasquale Natuzzi said in a statement announcing the agreement.
"The agreement takes us in the direction we had always hoped. All of the players involved have agreed to deal with the problems arising from global competition in a constructive responsible and practical spirit. We at the Natuzzi Group are committed to fulfilling our corporate social mission of safeguarding employment in the area as far as possible, as well as ensuring the long-term survival and profitability of the company," he added.