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Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 17:03 GMT
Dyson job losses will have 'huge impact'
Workers fear jobs prospects in Malmesbury will be bleak
Workers and civic leaders in Wiltshire have reacted angrily to the announcement that Dyson could make 800 workers redundant by moving production from Malmesbury to Malaysia.

Two years ago the company was refused planning permission to expand the plant in Wiltshire.

One worker blamed planning chiefs for the jobs losses.

"When you think he wants to expand to produce here and the council won't let him, they haven't a half-pence of sense."

Work needed

Other workers were worried for the job prospects in the area.

"A lot of people are employed by Dyson's here so it's disappointing for the area," said one.

"I don't think it's very good," said another worker.

"There's a lot of unemployment anyway and people need to work here."

Dyson has invested 32m in the Malmesbury site in the last two years.

Although production could be heading to the Far East about 1,000 people will still be employed at the plant working on research and development of new electrical products.

James Gray, MP for the area, said: "They are a professional management outfit and I am sure they have done everything they possibly can, and will do over the next few months, to lessen the effect of the job losses.

"Certainly it would've been better if they had entered into discussions with the DTI before now."

The mayor of Malmesbury, John Bowen, was angry at the way the announcement of the job losses was made on Tuesday.

'Area decimated'

"It will have a huge impact.

"Both ourselves and the district council would've liked to have been told.

"This comes on the back of a possible huge tranche of job losses at RAF Lyneham should that close.

"The area is going to be decimated.

"One councillor, two-and-a-half years ago on a visit to the plant, asked personnel if they were looking to go to the Far East and we were told it was very unlikely.

"One only has to look at the economic situation and realise that it was almost an inevitable fact.

"The one positive thing for us is that research and development will be staying here and one hopes that with the new markets reopening in America that might mean more jobs.

"But for the people who have lost their jobs, one must feel very sorry for them.

Click here to go to BBC Wiltshire
See also:

05 Feb 02 | Business
Dyson to move to Far East
12 Jan 01 | Business
Hoover wins court battle with Dyson
05 Nov 00 | Business
Entrepreneur issues euro threat
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