Anger about loss of nearly 90 Deeside manufacturing jobs

A PLANT closure has been confirmed with the loss of nearly 90 manufacturing jobs.

Horizon Global has confirmed it will proceed with a proposal to close the Witter Towbars production at its plant in Deeside and transfer the work over to eastern Europe.

The company has been described as showing a complete disregard for its hardworking staff who will be made redundant on New Year’s Eve.

Horizon announced in the summer it had plans to consider ‘a proposal in respect of strategic alternatives for its business based in Deeside to ensure a sustainable business for the Witter brand in the UK’.

Unite the Union’s regional officer Jo Goodchild said: “Unite campaigned hard to save these jobs but at the end of the day Horizon had already set their sights on the increase in profits as a result of the savings on labour costs, by transferring the work to Romania.

“There are social and economic consequences of this decision today. The employees and their families are devastated, as you would expect.

“It is ironic that one of Horizon Global’s core values is to be ‘socially responsible’.

“Decent, skilled jobs are being lost and this is a betrayal of the Witter’s employees who have worked hard to make this site and the Witter brand a success over the last 50 years.”

Angry Alyn and Deeside Assembly Member Carl Sargeant, a Welsh Government cabinet secretary, said: “This news is a devastating blow for Deeside. In ending manufacturing on Deeside the company is showing a complete disregard for its hard working staff.

“The loss of 86 highly-skilled jobs affects not just 86 individuals but 86 families.”

Mr Sargeant had liaised with Unite the Union and Welsh Government economy secretary Ken Skates throughout the consultation process.

Mr Skates, AM for Clwyd South, met with the firm and sent in consultants to help them look at alternative ways of reducing costs while keeping manufacturing at Deeside.

Mr Sargeant also wrote to one of the firm’s main clients, Jaguar LandRover in the hope the company’s emphasis on British manufacturing would lead it to have some persuasive input to help persuade Horizon to reverse its plans.

He added: “Horizon Global were very slow to take up offers of support from the Welsh Government and Flintshire Council.  It does feel like the consultation was just an exercise and they had made their minds up all along.”

He added: “Ken Skates has already pledged to activate the Welsh Government Re-Act programme. The programme will help these capable workers link up with firms nearby where skilled opportunities may be available. It will also provide retraining if needed.”

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