Noreste; País Vasco; Vizcaya
Location of affected unit(s)
Güeñes (Vizcaya)
Manufacture Of Chemicals And Pharamceuticals
Manufacture Of Chemicals And Chemical Products
20.4 - Manufacture of soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations, perfumes and toilet preparations
New offshoring locations
Poland, United Kingdom, Portugal

194 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
140 jobs
Number of planned job creations
Job creation
Announcement Date
12 September 2006
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date
30 September 2007


Reckitt, the British manufacturer of detergents and other cleaning products (brands like Colon, Calgonit and Woolite, among others), announced on 12 September 2006 that all the employees of the plant in Güeñes (Vizcaya-País Vasco) will be dismissed as a result of the offshoring of its activities to Poland, Great Britain and Portugal. It has not been announced yet when the dismissals will take place. The aim of this delocalisation is to reduce costs, particularly transport costs, as most of the company sales take place in Central European countries. Reckitt will try to relocate its employees to other companies in the area but will not offer them to move to other plants of the company in Spain. On the other hand, it will offer economic compensation to guarantee, for at least two years, the wages to those workers who do not find another job. Early retirement will not be possible for most employees, as the age of most of the staff is between 40 and 45 years old. The central public administration, the local administration and the trade unions have informed that they do not agree with the offshoring. The local public administration has informed that the company has received economic aid and support in the last years and regrets that they were not contacted by the company before in order to negotiate other ways to solve the problem and try to avoid dismissals and offshoring. The central public administration has also asked for a reasonable explanation from the company, as it does not accept the reasons given. The trade unions have also informed that there are no reasons for the delocalisation. The company and the works council have held several meetings but have not reached an agreement. The company says it will not change plans and the works council says it does not accept the offshoring and that the company must find a solution in order to maintain the plant. There was a strike on 29 September. Reckitt announced on 11 October 2006 that it is negotiating with the three companies that are going to set up their factories in Reckitt's current location. The aim is that these enterprises employ 99 of the employees that are to be dismissed. Reckitt has also arranged that an agency will help find a job in the neighbouring region of Cantabria to the 20 redundant employees that live in that area. The trade unions are negotiating these proposals. On 14 December 2006 the employees and the company reached an agreement by which workers will obtain a compensation of 62 days per year at work (up to 36 months). The minimum amount will be 36,000 Euro and employees over 50 will be able to retire early. The company has agreed to relocate 100% of the staff (except for the employees that will retire early). On June 2007 it was announced that 48 employees have entered into early retirement measures, while the other 140 will opt to be redeployed in other enterprises of the sector. The plant is to be closed by September 2007 and 15 people will work as administrative staff in the plant until then in order to terminate its activity.


  • 11 October 2006: El País
  • 17 September 2006: El País
  • 16 September 2006: El País
  • 15 September 2006: El País


Eurofound (2006), Reckitt, Offshoring/Delocalisation in Spain, factsheet number 64082, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/64082.