By Denna Bowman
Workers at the UK Pirelli tyres plant have been given a boost after their full working week was restored until the end of July.
Staff at the beleaguered Carlisle tyres factory have endured many anxious months as the recession-hit firm cut jobs, introduced temporary shutdowns and shortened the working week to cope with the plummeting sales.
But executives at the plant announced that staff returned to their normal working hours on Friday as production increased.
The global slump in demand for tyres, however, means that the UK operations will be regularly reviewed to ensure they remain viable, according to the News and Star newspaper.
In a statement Pirelli announced: “The Carlisle plant will return to contractual hours until the end of July – subject to review of market requirements.
“There will be only one shutdown period from May 27 to May 31 with no others planned during this initial three-month period.
“The timing of this has been at the request of the Carlisle site trade unions to utilise fully the half-term break and minimise impact on employees with family commitments.”
Carlisle’s sister plant at Burton, Staffordshire, will be shut between May 26 and 30 with additional lay-off days to reflect the lower production volume.
Pirelli said that due to the increased production at Carlisle, lay-offs there are planned to be less frequent than in the recent months.
The statement added: “Although the economic downturn is still clearly affecting the tyre market, the indication is that there is some stabilisation levelling at a lower production volume than in 2008.
“It should, however, be emphasised that due to a great deal of volatility in the economy, regular reviews will be ongoing to ensure the stability and viability of Pirelli