A pottery manufacturer has revealed that it will not be fully operational by July 1 – as the hospitality industry remains one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Steelite International – which specialises in the supply of tableware to some of the world’s biggest restaurants and cruise ships – confirmed that not all of its manufacturing operations will be up-and-running next month, and that it does not know when it will fully reopen again.
The business, whose UK headquarters is based in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, is currently operating with a skeleton crew of staff.
It was expected to welcome back its 650-strong workforce in July and start to ramp up production.
But the company has now told employees that they will remain on furlough leave for the foreseeable.
Group HR director Louise Griffin said: “All manufacturing operations will not reopen on 1 July 2020.
“We cannot confirm a new date for when the site will reopen in full capacity and until we can, all employees currently not in work will remain furloughed in line with the Government’s job retention scheme.
“The global hospitality industry continues to be one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and it will take time to recover with companies being forced to make some very difficult decisions to sustain their futures. Unfortunately, some have not and will not survive this very difficult time and some are having to reduce overheads by making high numbers of redundancies.
“We service this market and we are no exception and as your employer, we are working tirelessly to ensure Steelite’s future.”
Louise added: “All efforts are being made to ensure that we can and do respond to the ever-changing global environment and while we are not in a position to reopen in full capacity, on a positive note we do have a very small manufacturing team working over the next few weeks in response to our customer and operational needs.
“This is alongside the skeleton crew operating in our distribution centre here in the UK. Further afield our US distribution centre has started to slowly reopen, flexing to meet customer needs as appropriate.
“As we move through the remainder of the summer months, we will continue to respond to this challenging environment on a week-by-week basis and I will continue to update you as and when appropriate.
“We remain confident that as the world continues to manage the outbreak of coronavirus and marketplaces begin to re-open and take traction, we too can gradually start to re-open our facilities.”