Jobs fears as Welwyn Garden City firm plans Cambridge move
10:07 26 March 2012
EMPLOYEES at a WGC optical manufacturer have been left with a choice - travel 40miles to work or face possible redundancy.
"It was very upsetting, a lot people had their worlds shaken, unsure what to do.
They want everybody here [in WGC] in Cambridge, but some people won’t be able to do it."
Workers at lens maker Carl Zeiss have been told the Woodfield Road office would be closing on May 31, and the company wanted its 60-strong workforce to relocate to Cambridge in order to “grow the business”.
And according to a source, that could mean some employees would be forced to consider redundancy or early retirement.
“We were told two weeks ago that it would be happening, and the office would be closing on May 31,” our source said.
“They did extensive research into the building we have here, to find out what it would cost to bring it up to spec so customers can visit it.”
Our source continued: “It would cost a lot of money to get it up to spec and it’s not worth it.
“They want a building where customers can visit, and we can’t have a lot of visitors coming to us here.
“That’s why the Cambridge office is there. They have a very modern building and a better place for everything to be set up to help the business grow.”
The source added that while the move presented “a new opportunity” for some staff, others would not be willing to travel up to three hours a day to Cambridge and back.
“It was very upsetting,” they said.
“I think a lot people had their worlds shaken, unsure what to do.
“They want everybody in Cambridge, but some people won’t be able to do it. That’s why they’re trying to find out what everybody’s situation is.”
The source added: “There will be redundancies and early retirements.”
The WHT approached Carl Zeiss to ask about the proposals, but was unable to get any official comment before going to press.