UK: USM Calls It A Day After 100 Years
The end of an era was announced today when United Shoe Machinery decided to call in the receivers after more than a century in business.The receivers announced this-afternoon that they are restructuring the company and will be making a further 114 people redundant. Forty-six people were laid off last week, and this leaves a skeleton workforce of just 50 people at the business. David Duggins, one of the partners in Arthur Anderson and one of the joint administrative receivers to USM Group, said: "USM Group has been recognised for many years for its high quality machines, which have been used by leading footwear manufacturers all over the world. "Unfortunately, the market is over supplied and the high pound has not helped the company in these circumstances."Arthur Anderson hopes the company will survive in this restructured format, albeit as a service and maintenance operation rather than a machinery builder. If this is the case, it will at least be good news for the footwear manufacturing sector. Many manufacturers have invested in USM machinery and their production depends on reliable repair and servicing.The firm was founded in 1899 and was once one of Leicester's largest employers. In its heyday there were 2,500 people in the workforce, but this has now dwindled to about 50 people in Leicester and a further 300 outside the UK.
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