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Boxmark to make face masks for the state

Kidričevo, 17 March - Boxmark Leather, the Kidričevo-based maker of car upholstery, plans to launch production of protective face masks for Slovenia next week. CEO Marjan Trobiš told the STA on Tuesday the launch of production depended mainly on the supply of material, the machines are ready.

Kidričevo
Logo of Boxmark Leather.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

"At the moment, the demand is the highest for masks, since there are thousands of people who need to wear them for protection and self-protection at work. Every country is protecting its interests and does not allow exports of these products, so we decided to help our country," Trobiš said.

Boxmark will produce the masks for the state only, not for the market, he added.

The company plans to use all the material that will be delivered but Trobiš could not tell how many masks that meant.

In the coming days, a large part of other production lines, for textile, and automotive and aviation industries, will grind to a halt, so all resources will be used to make protective gear for the state.

The company has introduced several protective measures during the coronavirus epidemics. It has reduced its production capacity by some 30%. The most vulnerable groups of workers, including the elderly, those with chronic conditions and mothers of small children were temporarily sent home.

"The safety of the people comes first, so we will step up the measures this week and send more people home. Thus we will maintain sustainable production, but if supply chains do not allow us to work we will systematically cease operations," he said.

Companies with hundreds of employees cannot close overnight, Torobiš said, noting that preparations for the epidemic had been under way at the company for a month so as to be able to stay in business after the epidemic.

Boxmark, which is in foreign ownership, announced restructuring at the beginning of the year, with measures affecting 900 employees. Recently more than 200 workers were made redundant and more redundancies were planned by the end of April, when the process was expected to wrap up.

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© STA, 2020