Unilever, the consumer goods giant, has confirmed plans to lay-off 350 employees as it shuts down three plants in Wales, putting manufacturing sector in Wales in doldrums.
Unilever plans to close factories at Swansea, Bridgend by the end of 2013, affecting 250 jobs. Unilever’s Swansea factory makes personal care products, the Bridgend site is dedicated to distribution.
Expressing deep regret for the job losses, Swansea AM Mike Hedges said, “Although I’ve been told that Unilever plans to offer jobs to staff facing redundancy in Swansea at their new base in Merseyside, I sincerely doubt that this will be of any consolation or benefit to the 225 local people that will now lose their job as a result.”
Ewloe factory in Flintshire will be shut down by the end of next year which will see 100 lay-offs, while 400 of the staff will be relocated to Port Sunlight in Wirral. Unilever had previously said some of the jobs in Ewloe could be outsourced to Unilever’s IT centre in Bangalore, India.
The total number of job cuts is likely to reach 600. Slough factory will also see 250 jobs being cut. The job cuts in Slough came after the decision to close the company’s Sara Lee personal care factory.
Unilever plans to create 50 distribution jobs on Deeside and Flintshire. The announcement of new jobs at Deeside comes as Unilever said it has signed a new distribution contract with a separate distributor based at the industrial estate.
The company’s Pot Noodle factory in Crumlin, near Blackwood will not be affected by the job cuts. Unilever has a total UK workforce of about 7,200 and makes products and brands such as Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Marmite, PG Tips and Pot Noodle, Dove soap, Vaseline, Persil and Domestos.