Government in 'close contact' with US company Kimberly-Clark over Flint job fears

Reporter:

David Humphreys

The Welsh Government is in “close contact” with a multi-national company over potential job losses at its Flintshire site.

Senedd officials are said to be in discussions with Kimberly Clark over its plans to restructure its workforce announced last month.

The American company announced that as part of efforts to streamline the business, up to 10 manufacturing plants would be closed or sold.

As a result, up to 5,500 jobs could be lost, accounting for around 12 to 13 per cent of current personnel.

About 200 staff are employed at the company’s dual mill site in Flint but as yet no further details have been released in terms of potential impact to the Flintshire location.

Hannah Blythyn, Labour AM for Delyn, sought reassurance from Welsh Government that they would support the Aber Road plant and workforce.

She said: “I've raised Kimberly- Clark in Flint with the cabinet secretary for economy and infrastructure and have received assurances that the Welsh Government is in close contact with the company.

“The Flintshire site is one of the most successful plants and the Welsh Government is committed to continuing to support the site to go from strength to strength.”

The Flint mill is part of the company’s consumer business and is the home of Huggies baby wipes.

Constructed in 1982, the plant was originally a producer of feminine hygiene products.

In 2003, it benefited from an investment of £40 million for the manufacture of baby wipes and in 2015 a further £28m was invested to convert capabilities for wet wipes.

The company’s Coleshill mill, on the same site, was constructed in 1991 and officially opened by the Queen.

Folded and rolled bathroom tissue and wiper products for professional customers are made on site.

A Kimberly Clark spokesman said: “The company is not providing specifics on the status of any of our production facilities or the proposed job reductions, beyond what is detailed in our press release, until final decisions are made and announced.

“The timing of those announcements will be determined by the needs of the business and appropriate consultation and/or negotiations with unions, works councils and other labour stakeholders.”

In its statement, Kimberly Clark said its savings programme “is expected to broadly impact all of the company’s business segments and organisations in each major geography.”

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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