Počivalšek visits Safilo as Ormož plant is slated for closure

Ormož – Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek visited on Friday the Ormož eyewear production plant of Italian group Safilo, which is slated for shut-down at the expense of almost 560 jobs, to talk with the management about solutions for the employees. He said the government would do everything in its power to resolve the situation.

Počivalšek held talks with director Andrej Mavsar and local mayors, as well as with representatives of the owner from Padua via videoconference.

The minister said that despite the visit, the owner insisted on the measures that come after Safilo already closed two plants in Italy under the group’s strategy to adjust production capacities to meet changing demand.

Počivalšek said he wanted to calm down the workers who were afraid for their jobs, although he was aware that it was not only about 557 jobs, but the entire families of the employees.

He added that the government had enough funds at its disposal to continue implementing measures to protect jobs, and that solutions for Safilo employees would also include reassignments to other companies.

The government will work on attracting another investor to establish production of a similar kind at the location. A meeting will be held with the Italian owners in person so the minister believes that an appropriate solution will be found.

The Economy Ministry has paid a lot of attention to Safilo in the last two years, and the company has also used certain state aid measures intended for companies to cope with the Covid-19 epidemic, he added.

Počivalšek has also consulted with Prime Minister Janez Janša, so he believes that the government will do everything in its power to resolve the situation.

Locals are quite taken aback by the announced closure, and they believe it will lead to a social disaster as Safilo employs by far the greatest number of people in the municipality.

There is no information about the 2020 business results of the Ormož-based plant, however the 2019 results were above expectations. The company generated more than EUR 32 million in revenue, up by EUR 2.5 million on 2018 and almost EUR 7 million above the expected figure. In 2018, profit totalled EUR 1.25 million, whereas in 2019, it dropped to EUR 800,000.