Jøtul, which has been making wood-burning Norwegian stoves and ovens for years, is laying off around 100 employees in Norway and another 70 in Denmark. They’ll be replaced by much cheaper workers in Poland.
“We’ve been through many years of considerable losses and imposed a series of measures to generate positive results,” Jøtul chief Nils Agnar Brunborg told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “We have looked at low-cost countries in Eastern Europe and ended up with Poland as the best alternative because of logistics and cost levels.”
He wouldn’t say exactly how much the company will save by moving its production outside Scandinavia. Employees at Jøtul’s plant in Fredrikstad, many of whom have worked many years for the company, were predictably unhappy. Jøtul has had 280 people working in Fredrikstad, scores of whom will now need to find new jobs.
DN reported that Jøtul, formerly owned by the family of Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, has most recently been owned by OpenGate Capital since the Swedish acquisition fund Ratos sold all of its shares to OpenGate earlier this year.