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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Fresh blow for Dyson plant
James Dyson
Dyson made 800 people in Malmesbury redundant last year
The production of Dyson washing machines is to move from Wiltshire to the Far East with the loss of 65 jobs.

Last September the firm's factory in Malmesbury shed 800 jobs when the manufacture of vacuum cleaners was transferred to Malaysia, although for 210 of the workers alternative roles were found at Dyson's headquarters.

At the time, founder James Dyson pledged that the CR01 washing machine would continue to be made in Britain.

But less than a year on, Dyson has announced proposals to shift the machines' manufacture to Malaysia.

Consultation period

In a statement, the company said: "Dyson will consult with those involved and an employee consultation committee will be elected.

"If the move goes ahead Dyson will do all it can to help staff find new jobs."

James Dyson with the bagless vacuum cleaner he invented
Dyson bagless vacuum cleaners are now made in Malaysia

The firm says a 30-day consultation period on redundancies will begin as soon as staff representatives have been chosen to negotiate terms with management.

The announcement, which workers were told about on Wednesday in a 20-minute meeting with Mr Dyson, has been met with anger by trade union leaders.

Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Amicus, said: "This latest export of jobs by Dyson is confirmation that his motive is making even greater profit at the expense of UK manufacturing and his loyal workforce - Dyson is no longer a UK product."

And Wiltshire MP James Gray said: "It's extremely disappointing news, particularly coming on top of the previous move to Malaysia and other industrial news in the area.

'Very worrying'

"It's very worrying not just for Wiltshire, but for UK Plc - it just goes to prove that we cannot maintain profitable manufacturing in the UK.

"If an excellent, high-tech British made product cannot make it, what hope is there for anyone else?"

Last year Mr Dyson said he had been forced to move production of the company's trademark vacuum cleaner to the Far East because of lower costs.

He also cited the fact that both component suppliers and some of the cleaners' biggest markets were based in the region.

'Jobs around'

But the inventor and entrepreneur stressed Dyson's research and development department were still based in Malmesbury, meaning the firm's products are still "British engineered".

The Mayor of Malmesbury Charles Vernon told the BBC that job opportunities were present in the town.

"Just today I noticed an advert in our local baker's: there are jobs available but probably not paying the same rates as Mr Dyson set."

Mr Dyson was recruited earlier this year by the government as an adviser on innovation.

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05 Nov 00  |  Business

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