BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Languages
Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Protest at Burberry London stores
A protest outside the Burberry factory in Treorchy
Burberry staff protested outside their factory in Treorchy on Friday
A campaign against the closure of a south Wales Burberry factory has headed to London with protesters handing out leaflets at its stores.

Burberry is consulting the 300 workers at its designer clothing plant in Treorchy, Rhondda, which is set to close by the end of the year.

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans joined a protest at the firm's Bond Street store calling for the factory to remain open.

Burberry, which is to move the plant's production abroad, declined to comment.

Scores of Burberry staff demonstrated outside the factory gates on Friday after the company said a year-long review had left "no obvious" alternative to the closure.

Ioan Gruffudd
Ioan Gruffudd has appeared in advertising campaigns for Burberry

The factory makes polo shirts and production will go where costs are lower, possibly to Asia or South America.

Burberry has said the factory is no longer "commercially viable", but it would not abandon the UK.

The GMB union, one of two unions at the site, said the firm had extended its 90-day consultation period and now said no-one would be made compulsorily redundant before 4 January next year.

Ms Evans, who lives in the Rhondda, said party members from Rhondda and London joined the protest at the firm's three main stores, inviting shoppers to write to the company to ask it to change its mind about the scheduled closure.

She said: "This is such a big issue on the streets of Treorchy and Treherbert. Almost everyone we've spoken to has someone who has worked there at some time.

"The impact of this closure would be so devastating. This is something we all want to do something about."

'Scapheap'

Plaid's London branch secretary Huw Jackson said: "Burberry is all over the international fashion press just now with their new winter collection.

"But behind this facade they're prepared to put over 300 people on the scrapheap in a valley with little prospect of alternative employment. That's what we want to get over to their customers".

Rhondda Labour AM Leighton Andrews has urged south Wales-born movie star Ioan Gruffudd, who promotes Burberry, to back the campaign to keep the factory open.

Mr Andrews has told fellow AMs: "It's not clear that Burberry's worldwide management have fully thought through the implications of pulling out of Wales when the global face of Burberry is the Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd".

Burberry has three shops in central London, one each in Bond Street and Regent Street and one in Knightsbridge. There are also concessions at Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

The firm also has five more shops at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, one at each of the terminals.

Burberry said it was not making any further comment on its plans.


SEE ALSO
Asia demand lifts Burberry sales
12 Jul 06 |  Business

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific