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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Tyre factory shuts for last time
A Wearside tyre factory, where 585 people worked, is closing its doors for the final time.

In April, Goodyear Dunlop announced it was ending production at its Washington factory, a site where tyres had been produced since 1968.

The company said it could no longer compete effectively with competitors in Eastern Europe and the Far East.

Unions said there had been hopes that the jobs could be saved and they were disappointed at the closure.

'Massive blow'

Mark Wilson, from the GMB union, said officials had genuinely believed a rescue package to save some of the jobs would be possible, but realised after about five weeks that was not a realistic option.

He said: "It's an absolutely massive blow, not only to the Washington area, but to the North East in total.

"Unfortunately for the Dunlop workers, they were following on the back of 400 redundancies at Stag furniture so in terms of looking for similar work, they were at a disadvantage straightaway because whatever manufacturing jobs were out there were filled pretty quickly with people who had left Stag.

"There was a genuine sense of disappointment and I think by the end of it people were being pretty proactive in trying to look for work in similar areas or looking to diversify."

Regional development agency One NorthEast said it had been working with the company and partners to support the workers in finding new jobs through improving skills and retraining.

Job losses at Goodyear tyre plant
22 Dec 03 |  West Midlands
More jobs go at Goodyear
18 Apr 03 |  West Midlands

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