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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 13:33 GMT
Wales avoids Sony job losses
Sony webgrab of lady using a camera
Consumer demand has been falling
There are no plans to cut jobs in Wales as a result of Sony's global restructuring plans, the company has confirmed.

Production of key television parts will move from Japan to Bridgend in recognition of its role as a "centre of excellence", the firm said.

The position of other Sony jobs in Weybridge, Surrey is not yet clear.

The Japanese electronics giant plans to cut 20,000 jobs - 13% of its global workforce - over three years altogether, as part of a re-structuring operation.

The Amicus union had expressed fears over the 4,500 Sony UK workers.

Sony initially said 7,000 jobs would be lost in Japan but regional breakdowns were not yet available.

A spokesman for Amicus said: "We will be seeking urgent meetings with the company to find out more information about this announcement, and we will do all we can to try to avoid compulsory redundancies."

Sony UK's staff work in manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Workforce 'paying'

Malcolm Bruce, Liberal Democrat Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary, sympathised with Sony's workforce.

"In fast-moving, high-tech markets there is a high price to pay for the mistakes and missed opportunities that lead to observers judging Sony's product line-up 'stale'.

"Unfortunately it is the workforce that finishes up paying.

"Given the shock nature of these announcements, it reinforces the need for greater consultation with the workforce about market decisions and in the management of restructuring," he said.

'April shock'

Sony became the first major Japanese company to open a factory in the UK, in 1974.

The company - which employs about 154,500 people worldwide - has since become accustomed to leading the electronics market.

But it shocked investors in April when it posted a quarterly loss of almost $1bn.

The "April Shock" - as some dubbed the announcement - slashed a quarter off the company's value within days.

Since then Sony's return to the black has been sluggish at best, as it struggles to cope with weak demand for its consumer products, and high costs in its electronics division.

In May, the LG Philips display factory in Newport announced all 870 jobs at the site were to go.

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