Local tyre maker helps laid off employees secure jobs

SILVERSTONE Bhd is assisting its employees affected by the closing down of its 30-year-old plant in Kamunting to secure employment opportunities in the industry.

This was following a restructuring exercise announced by parent company Toyo Tire Corporation (Japan) on Feb 15.

The restructuring saw Silverstone’s manufacturing operations ceased and the continuity of production of its tyres moved to its other wholly-owned subsidiary, Toyo Tyre Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

In a statement, Toyo Tyre Sales and Marketing Malaysia Sdn Bhd administration and human resources general manager Gordon Jude Seneviratne said about 700 Silverstone employees would attend a job fair with the participation of several companies.

“We have invited those facing manpower shortage.

“The management would also like to offer its appreciation to the response

from many multinational and local companies in offering Silverstone employees employment opportunities at their factories, ” he said.

He added that the National Union of Employees in Companies Manufacturing Rubber Products was currently working with the management to assist employees pursuant to the restructuring exercise.

“The entire restructuring exercise is expected to be completed by mid-2021, which will be followed by the cessation of operations in the Silverstone plant, ” he said.

In the announcement last week, Toyo Tire said the Silverstone plant had reached a declining state in all areas, including machinery, manufacturing efficiency and building maintenance.

Operational issues were further compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting its viability and business continuity.

Seneviratne also said some employees were provided upskilling courses to prepare them for employment opportunities in the Toyo Tyre plant.

“This is to meet skill requirements and achieve industrial automation.

“The engagement process has been ongoing since 2020, ” he said.

He added that the Silverstone brand of tyres would continue to be manufactured as it was a local brand that has been around for many years.

“We are looking forward to the production of Silverstone tyres in a modernised automated plant with better grade of quality and cost effectiveness coupled with high operational safety standard, and to ensure continuity of the brand.

“Toyo Tire also aims to enhance its manufacturing strategy in Malaysia to further strengthen its supply hub ability in meeting customer satisfaction domestically and globally, ” he added.

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