A FACTORY that is to close with the loss of 260 jobs has been so busy extra staff have been brought in, it has emerged.

Now workers have questioned why the Entertainment Distribution Company (EDC), Philips Road, Whitebirk, is to shut at a time when ‘order books are overflowing’.

And union bosses said the situation showed the plant ‘was viable’.

But the American-based firm’s bosses said the production of recent chart hits had caused a short-term ‘spike’ in orders.

One worker said: “We have been producing over 400,000 discs per day and employing agency workers to cope with the backlog.

“How can they justify closing the business? We are absolutely stunned.”

Another said: “How can they blame music down-loads when we cannot keep up with demand?

“Our order book is over-flowing.

“That’s why they employed agency workers and paid overtime for the last two Saturdays.”

GMB representative Graham Coxon said the recent orders showed the factory is viable.

He said: “It has come down to a straight choice. It is easier to close a factory in England than it is in Germany.

“EDC has factories in Blackburn and Hanover and it is no surprise that the Blackburn factory is to close.”

Roger Morgan, executive vice-president of international operations at EDC, said the company has seen orders decrease by 20per cent year on year in the first quarter of this year.

He said: “The unpred-ictability of the industry means that on occasion we can get a surprise order.

“Staff are offered overtime to cover the extra work and we have taken agency staff in recent weeks.

“That does not change the fact that we have to deal with a huge decline in demand for CDs.”

EDC produces CDs, DVDs and covers for the music industry and has been operating in Blackburn for 27 years under a number of different owners.