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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 13:40 GMT
Shoe factory's closure defended
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The Clarks factory in Ilminster is set to close by April this year
Bosses at Clarks have defended their decision to close the firm's shoe factory in Somerset.

Up to 90 staff will lose their jobs at the Ilminster plant as the company switches production to the Far East.

Managers said the move was essential for the company to survive. A spokesman said: "There's been a series of changes that have been pretty inevitable.

"The cost of UK production has soared, and we've been able to source cheaper in the Far East."

Staff were told last Friday the factory would close by early April because foreign imports meant it was no longer competitive.

On Monday one worker told the BBC: "It has been on the cards for a long time and we've been fighting a losing battle for years now."

A union spokesman said although the announcement was expected, it had still shocked members.

Talks between the union and management are planned for this week to debate the workers' future.

Some workers may be moved to other roles in the company.

Factory closure means 90 jobs go
08 Jan 05 |  Somerset

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