© Electronics Production | February 17, 2012

Elfa Distrelec to leave Sweden?

Evertiq received information this week indicating Elfa Distrelec may exit Sweden permanantly, leaving staff worried for the future of their jobs.
The information Evertiq received suggests the company has agreed to build a central warehouse in Europe to improve its competitiveness. The move is in reaction to increased competition from Mouser and DigiKey.

None of Elfa Distrelec's existing locations (Järfälla Nänikon and Achim) is believed to have capacity for a substantial increase in stock and the company is therefore looking for other house solutions.

Elfa Distrelec's CEO, Ove Opseth, said he could not comment on the current situation and no decision has yet been made regarding the future of the company. He also denied information Evertiq received regarding the closure of the company's purchasing catalog and product department in Sweden.

Employees critical of Elfa Distrelec's handling of the matter

Information Evertiq received also indicated that Elfa staff are critical of how the company has handled personnel policy and employee concerns over their future.

”I do not know if I'm in the right place to comment on it right now. We have had a dialogue with the trade unions,” said Ove Opseth (Please note that all quotes in this article have been translated from Swedish).

How do you think staff concerns have been handled?

”We have proceeded according to the rulebook,” he said.

Tobias Ohlsson is a union representative at Elfa Distrelec. He said that the changes have been discussed and that to some extent the employees' concerns are understandable:

”We (the union) are involved in everything that goes on in the company. Things are happening at the moment and have been happening for a long time. We have made bigger changes than the ones that we are currently involved in, I would say. However, I can imagine that those who are affected, or may potentially be affected in the future, are not used to being affected by changes”.

According to information we received the majority of staff in Sweden may lose their jobs. Do you know anything about this?

“There is nothing I know, but of course there is discussion about it. The company is evaluating various options. When options are considered in a company the size of Elfa together with Distrelec, then you do not look at countries anymore but continents.So yes, it appears that we are beginning to work towards something, a contingency plan so to speak. In the case of "what if?". But there is nothing I can say in the near future anyway”.

The union has been in contact with the region to review the preparedness for the approximately 200 employees who work for Elfa Distrelec in Sweden. However, Ohlsson said the union is always in contact with the region so the situation is not unique.


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