Lear Corporation plant shutdown affects 120

More than 100 workers are facing the axe after an American car parts maker announced it is set to close its Austrian factory next month.Lear Corporation said today (Tues) it will shut down its site in Köflach, Styria, on 24 August.Styrian Social Democratic (SPÖ) Deputy Governor Siegfried Schrittwieser said he offered the 120 affected employees a membership in the province’s anti-unemployment foundation. The provincial government offers laid off staff re-education courses in the foundation which also includes financial support.Local media said dozens of temporary workers would be affected by the closure as well.Lear Corporation – which is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan – has employed up to 500 staff at its automotive seating systems manufactory since 1991. The company has dismissed workers over the past few years before putting the remaining 200-odd staffers into part time around one year ago.Firm chiefs explained they were forced to shut down the site after failing to win new orders.Styria is one of Austria’s leading industrial regions. Unemployment and economic power rates strongly depend on the wellbeing of the companies producing in the province.Labour market developments are expected to play a crucial role in the 26 September provincial elections in which the SPÖ is at risk to drop from first to second place after its surprising victory five years ago.The People’s Party (ÖVP) is seen neck-and-neck with the SPÖ headed by Governor Franz Voves who said he would retire from politics if the ÖVP overtakes his party in the September ballot.