London loses Stryker Medical hospital bed factory, 70 jobs

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London loses a hospital bed factory employing more than 70 workers and a link to its healthcare manufacturing history.

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Stryker Medical London on Adelaide Street South will close in late 2021 as manufacturing consolidates in Michigan, Stryker Corp reported Thursday. based in Kalamazoo.

“I’m not at all happy with this news,” said a London supplier, who declined to be identified.

“Healthcare is one of our industries here and it was a gem. It was developed locally, with the intelligence of London.

In a statement, the company confirmed the shutdown, saying it was halting production of a London-made bed line.

“Stryker is constantly evaluating our business to ensure that our resources are aligned to drive growth, meet the needs of our customers and increase operational efficiency in a complex global environment,” said Meghan Menz, director of communications for the giant. health. “After careful consideration, we have decided to close our London. . . manufacturing plant.

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“We are halting manufacture of the low beds produced there and expect all operations to cease by the end of 2021.”

Although bed sales were unaffected by the pandemic that hit in March, other Stryker divisions have seen sales drop by as much as 65%, reported medtechdive, a healthcare industry website. health.

Like its peers, Stryker’s decline in sales has accelerated since recording a 30% year-over-year decline in the last week of March, when foreclosure orders from the ‘State have started and hospitals have stopped most non-essential procedures,’ he said of the US market. .

The company forecast sales to drop 35 to 40 percent in April, he reported.

Healthcare-related industries “were taking a hit as social distancing measures reduce the number of people engaging in high-risk activities like driving or working on construction sites,” he said.

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But Stryker’s decision to consolidate work in Michigan began before the pandemic, the London supplier said.

“The writing was on the wall some time ago. But the workers should be picked up. Their team is at the top. “

While losing a business is never good, there is little concern that workers will find jobs and the city’s growing manufacturing sector may absorb the blow, said Jason Bates, general manager. of the London Region Manufacturing Council.

“We’re seeing a lot of hiring in the industry right now. There are a lot of opportunities. We have Maple Leaf on the horizon here and investing in auto manufacturing is good news for southwestern Ontario.

Maple Leaf Foods will open a processing plant in London employing 1,500 people next year. And Ontario’s auto sector is receiving nearly $ 5 billion in new investment.

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Stryker bought CHG Hospital Beds Inc., a company founded in London in 2003, in 2015. Led by London businessman Archie Leach, it manufactured and sold hospital beds in Canada, the United States and the United States. UK.

CHG was known to make low hospital beds, which allow a patient’s feet to sit flat on the floor while sitting on the edge. The low design has reduced the risk of patients falling.

Stryker, in business since 1941, had sales of $ 14.9 billion in 2019. It employs 40,000 people in more than 40 manufacturing plants and research and development offices around the world. Its products are sold in more than 100 countries.

ndebono@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/NormatLFPress

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