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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 16:11 GMT
Paint factory to close
Cray Valley paint factory at Machen near Caerphilly
The company has been in the area for over 50 years
A paint factory in Machen near Caerphilly in south Wales is to close with the loss of 210 jobs.

The Cray Valley Products plant is one of two UK sites owned by the TotalFinaElf group.

The industry in which we work is fiercely competitive

Cray Valley projects director Philip Wicks
The company plans to consolidate production at its Stallinborough in north Lincolnshire, as well as other factories across Europe.

Cray Valley has been operating a plant in Machen for more than 50 years.

Managers are consulting the workforce and intend to phase in the job losses over the next two years as the factory is run down.

Projects director Philip Wicks said: "The industry in which we work is fiercely competitive.

"We have come to the conclusion that we could only afford to have one site in the UK.

Cray Valley factory sign at Machen near Caerphilly
Workers will be offered transfers to other plants

"Consultation is under way with the workforce at the factory so we cannot yet say the total number of losses, but half are likely to lose their jobs.

"But we are a large company with many operations and a number will be offered work at alternative sites.

"We operate in all the major European countries and some of the workers at the plant will certainly be offered to chance to transfer abroad."

Former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, now the Welsh Assembly member for Caerphilly, condemned the decision.

"It is precisely the sort of activity which is vital to a successful Welsh manufacturing economy," he told the assembly's economic development committee.

Ron Davies
Ron Davies said the news was devastating

"I hope the Assembly will be absolutely robust in telling this company their behaviour is completely unacceptable.

"They have been only too anxious in the past to come to the former Welsh Office and Welsh Development Agency(WDA)," he added.

"Everybody in Wales has bent over backwards to help them.

"Frankly this decision to turn their back and walk out on us is completely unacceptable and I hope they will be called in and advised the sooner they change this decision the better."

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said WDA officials were trying to persuade the company to reconsider.

Manufacturing cutbacks

The closure is the latest in a series of jobs blows to hit the region.

Earlier this month the hi-tech manufacturing company ESM in Newport confirmed it was shedding 235 jobs after calling in the receivers.

The following day it was announced that the controversial Shanks waste incineration plant at Pontypool would close at the end of March with the loss of 50 jobs.

In December, the Alcan aluminium factory at Rogerstone, axed more than 300 of its workers.

Other companies such as NTL, Carlton, and Corus - with the loss of 1,300 jobs at the company's Llanwern site - have cut back too.

Caerphilly AM Ron Davies
"It's an absolutely devastating blow"
See also:

10 Dec 01 | Wales
Cable company's job fears
26 Jun 01 | Wales
End of an era for steel plant
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