Doomed Triumph staff to work part time

Employees at underwear and lingerie manufacturer Triumph International AG’s Hartberg factory will work part time for the next few months, it has been revealed just weeks after firm chiefs announced plans to lay off everyone.The internationally operating Swiss firm said in June that all 291 staff would be made redundant by 31 October when the plant would shut down. Triumph cited a strong decrease in orders, adding it “regretted” the “unavoidable” decision.Now Herbert Paierl, head of the Labour Market Service’s (AMS) office, has announced that Hartberg factory employees will work part time over the next few months depending on  economic circumstances.He said today (Thurs): “Firm chiefs have decided to cut overall work time by 60 per cent. That means employees will work just two days a week.”Paierl stressed that AMS would be flexible in handling the issue as hours might rise again depending on demand for Triumph’s products.Triumph however pointed out chances to avoid a shutdown of the plant were low, adding that the part time scheme would most likely only delay its closure.The firm said the part time work model period had given it more time to check which options staff to be sacked would have.Triumph – which also has factories in Aspang, Lower Austria and in the Burgenland towns of Oberwart and Oberpullendorf – said it was currently negotiating on establishment of a labour foundation where employees could sit further education courses.Around 8,300 people worked part time at companies in different sectors in Austria in July. The scheme is subsidised by the labour ministry and AMS, which financially compensate firms opting for the scheme instead of for dismissal of staff.The model was most popular in April 2009, when more than 57,000 workers worked part time as companies felt the impact of the global crisis.