“The six-point action plan developed by the Cabinet, Mayor of Jászberény Tamás Szabó (Fidesz-KDNP) and Fidesz Member of Parliament János Pócs guarantees that the some 800 employees affected by Electrolux’s job cuts will not be unemployed, and that Jászberény will also not feel the redundancies being realised by the company”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Jászberény

At the opening of the Jászberény Economic Development Forum, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted: “The global economy is changing rapidly and dynamically, and this is also reflected in the global strategies of international companies such as Electrolux”, adding that Electrolux has made a decision on the organisation of its global capacities, but Jászberény and the people of Jászberény have absolutely nothing to do with this in view of the fact that the decision was made in Sweden.

Some 800 employees working in a section of Electrolux’s production unit in Jászberény will be made redundant in phases beginning next year. “This is not the first time in Hungary’s history that a global corporate decision has affected the country negatively or positively”, Mr. Szijjártó said, recalling that when Microsoft purchased Nokia in 2014, Nokia’s plant in Komárom was shut down because production was transferred to Asia. “On that occasion, the fate of over ten thousand people was successfully resolved; nobody was left unemployed”, he pointed out.

People who blame the leaders of Jászberény for Electrolux’s global decision are “simply lying”, he declared. “Electrolux will be continuing production at a lower intensity”, he said. “As the first element of the six-point action plan developed to solve the situation, government agreements have been concluded with relation to two investment projects”, the Minister said.

“One of these agreements has been concluded with Rosenberger Hungary Ltd. The company will be realising a new, 6.5-billion-forint (EUR 19.6 million) investment project, creating 150 new workplaces”, he highlighted. “As a result of the investment, the company will be increasing its capacities in Jászberény within the field of car parts manufacturing. The company will be receiving the maximum level of funding allowed by law in the form of non-returnable funding, based on an individual cabinet decision”, Mr. Szijjártó stated.

“The other is a 1.4-billion-forint (EUR 4.2 million) investment project by Szatmári Ltd., towards which the government will be contributing 680 million forints (EUR 2 million) in funding within the framework of the Large Enterprises Investment Promotion Programme, and 30 new workplaces will be created. In addition, the company’s directors have undertaken to give workers a 50 percent pay rise over a period of 7 years. The 1.4-million-forint investment will enable the construction of a new, automated warehousing centre”, the Minister continued.

“In addition, negotiations on the resuscitation of Jászberény’s industrial tradition in the form of business activity are also ongoing with a Hungarian-owned, medium-sized enterprises that is well known within the region”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “The negotiations concern a 3.5-billion-forint (EUR 10.5 million) investment project, which will also create new jobs. The name of the company will be announced in the upcoming weeks”, he added.

With relation to the fourth point of the action plan, the Minister said: “Electrolux has published a tender for the contract manufacturing of 330 thousand vacuum cleaners, and the two entries from Jászberény that have submitted tender applications are receiving government funding, as a result of which there is an excellent chance of their applications successfully enabling this part of vacuum cleaner production to remain in Jászberény”.

As the fifth point of the action plan, the government has also held negotiations with its strategic partners in the county and the region, ZF Hungary Ltd. and Thyssenkrupp, with relation to the fact that more labour is required to enable them to maintain and increase their capacities. Both companies are important, acknowledged businesses within the Hungarian economy, and offer workplaces that have a high level of prestige. “Mediation between the leaders of the two large corporations and the Electrolux workers who will be made redundant has begun”, he announced.

With relation to the sixth point of the action plan, Mr. Szijjártó said: “Electrolux’s facility has excellent infrastructure, and will begin becoming available in phases beginning next year. For instance, it includes a 14 thousand square metre production hall, and a smaller, 5700 square metre production hall”. “On Thursday, we will be briefed on the infrastructure that will become available and the rate at which it will become available at Electrolux’s production facility, and we will be able to immediately recommend these to partners who are searching for ready-to-use production infrastructure”, he stated.

“The solutions listed are capable of working and we will be able to realise them”, Mr. Szijjártó said. The Minister said he would see little chance of the abovementioned solution being successfully realised were it not for the fact that it is being attempted with the company that drew it up, adding that he hopes to have the opportunity to implement the solution “together with its developer”.

The region’s Fidesz MP János Pócs listed the investment projects that have been realised in recent years, and which are based on “good business cooperation and cooperation with the government”. “The A32 main road has been completed, the construction of the Jászberény bypass is also ongoing, with archaeology work underway and the public procurement procedure in process, and the visible construction work will begin next spring”, he added. Mayor of Jászberény Tamás Szabó (Fidesz-KDNP) said: “The government is keeping the case of the Electrolux workers and the fate of these 800 people continuously on the agenda”.