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2020 April 23

By increasing efficiency Utenos Trikotažas will retain most of its employees

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Despite economic uncertainty in Lithuania and the tense situation in the textile market, Utenos Trikotažas continues manufacturing and will retain most of its employees by increasing efficiency. About a tenth of the employees currently affected by downtime will be offered a change in the job or termination of the employment contract. These employees are from other than the sewing unit, which continues to operate at full capacity.

Efficiency will protect jobs

“We are positive about the long-term prospects and are not yet forecasting the impact of this crisis on the company’s performance, but we can see that the recovery in the textile market is unlikely in the coming half-year. Some of our clients face falling sales volumes and the major textile trade exhibitions have been canceled, so we are negotiating postponement of the planned orders and payment terms for the orders that are already produced. Our immediate focus has been efficiency, we have cut down all unnecessary costs and reformed our operational processes. As a result, we will manage to retain the maximum number of employees under the circumstances and ensure the long-term sustainability of operations,” Petras Jašinskas, Managing Director of Utenos Trikotažas, said.

At present, our sewing unit which has the largest number of employees works at full capacity. In order to respond to the needs during the pandemic, the production has been reoriented and in addition to our usual products, manufacturing of multiple-use face masks has been launched. Other units work at a lower capacity than before the pandemic.

In cooperation with the trade union

Utena Knitwear employs 775 people; 84 of them have been affected by downtime (employees of other than the sewing unit), one in four of those are employees of the company’s administration.

According to Vilija Bierontienė, President of the trade union of Utenos Trikotažas, once the complete downtime was announced, some employees decided to terminate their employment contracts immediately. For those employees who are currently in downtime the company is suggesting alternative solutions - to remain in downtime, change the type of job or work in another capacity according to capabilities and competencies or terminate the employment contract by mutual agreement of the parties. All benefits and compensations will be paid to the employees who decided to leave.

“We are talking to all our employees and looking for a compromise. Some of them are of retirement age, so they have already been considering the possibility of leaving their jobs and some will receive suggestions of working in another capacities. Those who have new career plans choose to terminate their employment contracts, the rest remain in downtime,” Vilija Bierontienė said.

Opportunity to strengthen position in the market

According to the CEO of Utenos Trikotažas, the company continues to work intensively in the areas that will lay the foundation for growth after the pandemic - searching for new markets and customers, development of new sales channels.
 
“Many businesses face difficulties amidst economic uncertainty. Competitive advantage will be gained by those companies that are quick, flexible, creative and able to adapt to the changing needs of customers. In the context of the changing business environment, it is important for the company to change from within. At Utenos Trikotažas, we are a team of professionals in our field and together we create and look for the best business solutions on a daily basis. Our long-term strategy is to become the most efficient company in Europe. I am not afraid to say that - significantly better than competitors, able to respond quickly to the market and customer needs," P. Jašinskas said.