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 200 Valleys Jobs To Go
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aussiewelshman
Retired Webteam Member

New SOUTH WALES
23652 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2008 :  05:55:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Job losses Would Be A Body Blow
Source - South Wales Argus

POLITICIANS say the fact that 200 Gwent workers face being out of a job just before Christmas after being told their posts are at risk is a major body-blow to the area.

As the economic crisis in the UK deepens, Northern Automotive Services in Gilwern, near Abergavenny is proposing 99 redundancies and up to 90 staff have been told they could be made redundant at Wacker Neuson in Tredegar.
Northern Automotive Services, which supplies aluminium products to the car industry, said the exact number of redundancies has not yet been determined. They are now in a 30-day period of consultation with staff.
It is understood that there are a total of 450 workers at the Gilwern site.
Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox, said the authority regrets the loss of any jobs in the county and urged the company to make every effort to retain as many jobs in Monmouthshire as possible.
It is planned up to 90 out of 97 staff could lose their jobs when Tredegar firm Wacker Neuson, which makes wheel dumpers for the construction industry, moves production to an Austrian site in the new year. The company is Austrian-owned.
But production at the Tredegar site which was set up on the Crown Business Park in 1999 will continue until Christmas and the area may still offer some support work when production moves out of Gwent.
Wacker Neuson employees were sent home after the announcement was made at the site on Thursday and will return to work on Monday.
Managing Director of the Tredegar site, John Rawnsley, said the news came as a shock to many.
He said the planned closure of the plant is partly due to the downturn in the current economic climate.
Mr Rawnsley said it is also due to the decrease in demand with orders for its wheel dumpers falling by 48 per cent in January to September compared to last year.
He said: “Employees at the plant were briefed on the plans and assured of the commitment of the company to work with local and regional stakeholders to support them in the wake of this announcement. “ The firm's 30-day consultation process will start next week.

MP for Blaenau Gwent, Dai Davies, said the valleys community needs manufacturing as a base for its economy but this is continuing to be eroded. He said every single job is important to this area.
He added: “Businesses withdrawing to go to Europe is a going to do significant damage.”
Blaenau Gwent Council leader Des Hillman said the council will work closely with the National Assembly to support the workforce.



aussiewelshman
Retired Webteam Member

New SOUTH WALES
23652 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2008 :  08:31:14 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hoover Was Merthyr’s Lifeline For 60 Years
Source - WalesOnline

“HOOVERVILLE”, that’s what they used to call Merthyr Tydfil.

From its iconic sign proclaiming “Hoover, Croeso i Ferthyr Tudful,” Merthyr and the company have been partners for 60 years.
But rather than receiving a bus pass and slipping into a relaxed and comfortable future, it seems that Hoover, Merthyr Tydfil, is to become redundant, retired into a world dominated by Asian and Eastern European imports.
When Hoover opened its factory in Merthyr in 1948, it was more than just another business.
It was a shining example of the rebirth of a nation after World War Two, producing as it did aspirational consumer goods for a forward-looking generation.
And nowhere was the feel-good factor felt more than in the Merthyr of six decades ago. Just nine years before the first machine left the factory gates, the then King Edward VIII had visited Dowlais on Merthyr’s northern edge and after looking at the poverty and despair proclaimed, “Something must be done”.
Hoover provided one of those solutions.
Although the mines of the Merthyr Valley were in full-flow, feeding the growing post-war economy, there were still jobs needed and as the white-goods industry grew quickly throughout the ’50s and ’60s and the factory grew, too. It was extended to cope with the growth of the business with almost 5,000 people dependent on the Pentrebach operation by the time the Queen visited the site in 1973.
By now, Hoover was much more than a simple employer. A cricket ground on company land, a flourishing football team, busy social club and caring association for retirees – Hoover had become more than a pay cheque.
In 1985, Hoover merged with the Chicago Pacific Corporation and looked to have a strong and vibrant future.
Just as in 1948, it was to be a place where innovation and aspiration met when that year it became the home of the Sinclair C5, now seen as a motoring joke, but back then an innovative approach to rising petrol prices and congested roads.
However, this was to be Hoover’s last great hurrah.
By 1992, a backlog of vacuum cleaners and washing machines gathering dust in the warehouse saw the company launch its spectacular free flights promotion.
The deal – spend £100 on any Hoover product and get two free return flights - initially to Europe – eventually saw 220,000 travellers take to the air at a time when cheap flights were a fantasy.
Hoover had been caught out and the resultant court cases and £48m payout saw Hoover’s name, once one of the most respected and recognised, dragged through the dirt.
The losses saw workers face, for the first time, the real possibility of closure.
At a time when the pits had ceased to be the Valleys’ main employers, the importance of Hoover was even stronger.
So there was real fear in the summer of 1993 that saw a task force of American bosses meet to consider the fate of its sites in Merthyr and Cambuslang, Scotland.
Jobs were secured for the short-term but two years later Hoover was sold to Candy of Italy, making it the fourth largest producer of washing machines, refrigerators and similar products in Europe.
After the deal, Candy invested more than £40m in Hoover’s floor care and home laundry plants in Wales and Scotland but even though production continued, staff numbers fell. As the threat of job losses grew so relations between the Italian owners and their Welsh workforce worsened.
Strike action seriously affected the factory in 2004, when workers manned picket lines three times in as many months. Only last year, the company announced that up to 130 temporary staff were going to lose their jobs, with the news coming just weeks before Christmas. Now, with reports that the factory could be about to stop production, it looks like Merthyr’s “Hooverville” days could be over.

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aussiewelshman
Retired Webteam Member

New SOUTH WALES
23652 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  20:31:04 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Black Friday For Jobs In Gwent
Source - South Wales Argus

AS almost 380 Gwent workers reeled from news their jobs could go in the next month, shoppers descended on Woolworths stores yesterday looking for bargains in its closing down sale.

Meanwhile in Tredegar, another 138 jobs are under threat and workers at Llanwern's Corus site were faced with taking a pay cut. CHRIS WOOD, DAVID DEANS and HARRY HAWKINS report.
CHRISTMAS looks bleak for more than 500 Gwent workers at risk of losing their jobs, while the spectre of paycuts hangs over 800 more. Gwent's 377 Woolworths workers face an uncertain future as the firm's administrator said the stores could close by the end of December unless a buyer is found soon for the retail giant.
In Tredegar, office furniture firm Desklink faces going into administration if a buyer for that business is not found, with 138 staff left without jobs. And at Corus in Llanwern talks were ongoing yesterday between unions and management over potential 10 per cent paycuts for workers there.
The Woolworths news came from administrators Deloitte. Reorganisation services partner Neville Kahn said the administrator is still seeking bids from interested parties in buying the chain which has 11 stores in Gwent. Yesterday, the store began a closing down sale. Mr Kahn said: “By moving to a store closing down sale and further discounting the stock, we are maximising the sales potential that this period (Christmas) offers.” Thousands of shoppers descended on Woolworths in Maesglas. There were huge tailbacks with slow moving traffic back as far as the Pont Ebbw Bridge, and queues long the Southern Distributor Road from the east of the city to get on the site. The stores' posters said there would be discounts of up to 50 per cent.
Around 50 people waited in the cold for it to open at 9am, but many bargain-hunters claimed they were left disappointed. Mike Leith, 50, of Corporation Road, Newport, said: “I thought everything was going cheap and had brought the van down to fill it up.
“There’s only discounts of 10% and 20% (on some items). People are walking out empty-handed. Stavros Davies, 45, of Ringland said: “People want something for nothing now. I’m keeping my money in my pocket until prices really go down, like they did when the MFI store next door closed.” But Brian Evans, 60, from Caldicot left with a full trolley of shopping. He said: “People seem to think everything is 50% off, but you’ve got to be careful as its only certain things. I’ve stocked up on the household items and childrens’ clothing.”
Store officials refused to comment, but shoppers yesterday told of staff being left distraught by the situation. greatnor Meredith, 49, from Newport said: “I asked a member of staff if they had a tip box for us to give them something, but she said they weren’t allowed. She then broke down in tears and someone else had to replace her on the till.”
Karin Black, 46, from Marshfield bought some stationery and as she left took a sign from the doorway that read ‘Sale - up to 50% off’. She said: “This is my memento. I grew up with Woolworths and would like to thank Woolies for all the pleasure it’s given me over the years.”
Hundreds of shoppers visited other Woolwoths stores in Gwent. At Pontypool, were asked to stop asking when Woolworths would close its doors. A customer said a sign, attached to one of the tills, said the questions were upsetting staff. Shelves were being gradually emptied and left unfilled. Kimberly Nash, 20, from Blaenavon, said the sale wasn’t as cheap as she was expecting. Rachel Taylor, also from Blaenavon, said of staff: "They don’t know what’s happening." Rita Hilks, 52, of Trevethin, and Mandy Lathwell, 42, were among those carrying bulky bags of shopping.
They had bought household goods. Ms Lathwell said: "It will be awful for the High Street. It’s been here years, it’s always been here." She added that there weren’t many good shops left in Pontypool: "We don’t have a clothes shop, and we don’t have a shoe shop either."

Woolworths jobs under threat in Gwent:

* Abergavenny: 37
* Abertillery: 19
* Blackwood: 22
* Chepstow: 19
* Cwmbran: 65
* Ebbw Vale: 23
* Monmouth: 21
* Newport (city centre): 30
* Newport (Maesglas): 110
* Pontypool: 17
* Tredegar: 14
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markf
Junior Member

United Kingdom
7 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2008 :  03:38:24 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
28 people went from neuson on friday there is 10 or 12 left in total
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aussiewelshman
Retired Webteam Member

New SOUTH WALES
23652 Posts

Posted - 17/01/2009 :  21:13:07 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hoover workers in Merthyr stage a protest march...

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aussiewelshman
Retired Webteam Member

New SOUTH WALES
23652 Posts

Posted - 13/03/2009 :  10:54:51 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Merthyr Tydfil Bids Farewell To Hoover Factory
Source - WalesOnLine

As employees of Merthyr Tydfil’s Hoover factory spend their last day there before it closes for good, BEN GLAZE takes a look back at the plant’s colourful history

SIXTY-ONE years ago passengers boarded a train at London Paddington bound for South Wales.
Their destination: the Hoover factory at Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil.
The town formerly famed for its iron and coal industries was, for the next six decades, to be associated with an electrical appliance which would become commonplace in kitchens up and down the land: the washing machine.
It was 1948 and Europe had been liberated from Hitler just three years earlier.
Britain had been defended and a wave of socialism, led by Tredegar-born MP Nye Bevan, founder of the NHS, was rebuilding the battered country.
Invited guests steamed out of London’s buzzing metropolis, through the quintessential, rolling English countryside of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, under the River Severn and into South Wales.
When the 11 carriages pulled into Merthyr and VIPs stepped onto the platform, an air of hope, expectancy and pride lingered above the plant as 350 staff began their work making the “essential” white good.
Who then could have predicted Hoover’s success, cornering the washing machine market and providing generations of Merthyr families with jobs for life?
Indeed, in 1973, as the firm marked its 25th anniversary in Merthyr, it received Royal approval when the Queen opened an extension and more than 5,000 people were employed at the factory.
That proved the high point.
The mood turned sour in the early 1990s when the prospect of job cuts first reared its ugly head, sitting uneasily next to the three-foot-high white letters mounted on the factory’s brown brick exterior with the Union Jack fluttering in the breeze alongside the now-shredded company flag.
And, last year, as the company marked its diamond jubilee in the increasingly poverty-hit town, it emerged production at the factory was doomed. Hoover announced a formal, 90-day consultation on its future in Merthyr – but staff and unions knew the end was nigh.
They staged a last-ditch rally in January, marching proudly and defiantly from the factory that paid their wages to the town centre where they will now sign on the dole.
Their protest, most admitted, was futile. But it showed workers’ passion for their jobs, despite the company’s decision to abandon the town that welcomed Hoover to its heart.
The company’s human resources vice-president David Lunt coldly trotted out the official position – “Unfortunately, there was no escaping the conclusion that our Merthyr Tydfil manufacturing facility could not produce competitively priced laundry products” – as he confirmed workers’ worst fears.
Today, 337 staff clock off for the last time.
Next week, many will join the growing queues outside job centres up and down Wales, as unemployment soars to a 10-year high.
Westminster and Cardiff Bay Governments promise “help” and “to do whatever is necessary” to get those hit by redundancies – those who today become mere statistics bandied round by politicians on gold-plated pensions – back into work.
But Hoover workers know the truth: that scarce jobs are ever harder to find as more people chase fewer positions.
For Hoover employees who this afternoon become ex-employees, today marks the end of a chapter in their working lives.
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