Appliance company Mabe closes Costa Rica plant, lays off 445 employees

December 4, 2015
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Mexican appliance manufacturer Mabe on Friday announced the closure of its refrigerator manufacturing plant in Costa Rica and the immediate dismissal of 445 of its 540 employees.

The plant, located in Heredia province, had a production capacity of 275,000 refrigerators per year that were exported to customers across Central America. Mabe will move production to Colombia on Jan. 31, 2016.

The company said in a public statement that its decision was made due to changes in manufacturing procedures that require energy consumption, and some conditions were not apt at its Costa Rica plant.

In total the company has let go 795 workers in the last 19 months. In May 2014 it laid off 350 employees following the closure of its stove manufacturing division.

The company will maintain administrative operations in Costa Rica and a call center to support customers in the region.

Mabe’s Corporate Affairs Director Pablo Moreno said the move was a difficult decision, and the company will comply with and pay severances as stipulated by Costa Rica’s labor laws.

The company began operations in Costa Rica in 2008 after acquiring local company Atlas Electric for $72 million. The former Tico company, founded in the 1960s, manufactured and exported appliances to over 25 destinations in Latin America.

Mabe is one of more than 20 companies that have closed or moved out of Costa Rica in the last two years.

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