Baktoid Closes Down Five More Plants
TERMIN, METALORN — In a statement issued to shareholders, Baktoid Armor Workshop confirmed that they will close down five more plants in the Inner Rim and Colonies as a direct result of Republic regulations that have hindered their battle droid program.
Baktoid plants on Foundry, Ord Cestus, Telti, Balmorra and Ord Lithone will close by month’s end. An estimated 12.5 million employees will be laid off as a result.
Legislation passed by the Senate eight years ago forced the disbanding of the Trade Federation’s security forces, the largest single consumer of Baktoid’s combat automata and vehicles. Further licensing restrictions on the sale of battle droids made the purchase of such hardware prohibitively expensive for most of Baktoid’s clientele.
The statement, a Basic text-only communiqué attributed to Techo Union foreman and Baktoid executive Wat Tambor, made no indication as to future Baktoid plans to counter these losses.
“According to last year’s annual statement, Baktoid is still pulling in the same rawmat figures, yet hasn’t diversified its product,” says business analyst Deregue Hiatt. “We have a company that’s spending, buying resources, but isn’t making or selling goods. You can bet shareholders aren’t happy.”
At the start of the year, Baktoid officials explained the increased purchases of rawmats as investment in future diversification, something that has yet to be reflected in the company’s product catalog. The late Senator Lanus Wrede (Sermeria) made headlines when he suggested that Baktoid was using said materials in secret Outer Rim plants, free from Republic regulations.
Such claims were refuted by business analysts, as well as a three-month investigation. The scandal amounted to an unrecoverable political blunder on Wrede’s part, which led to his suicide earlier in the year.
“Doing something like [Wrede described] isn’t good business either,” adds Hiatt. “There are no markets out there in the Outer Rim, and the added cost of transporting finished product back to the Republic markets would be unreasonably prohibitive. None of Baktoid’s wares have shown up in the black market in figures that would suggest that Wrede was onto something.”