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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Sony to axe jobs
Sony's Bridgend plant
The company faces difficult market conditions
Sony has announced it is cutting 220 jobs at its television plant in Bridgend.

The Japanese company said it had been reviewing its future business plans and the job losses were necessary for the company to meet future market conditions.

Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan said he was "disappointed" by the announcement, but added the administration would continue to support the company.

Computer chip manufacture
The electronics industy has been plagued by cut backs

"I was very reassured by Sony's strong restatement of their total commitment to their two Welsh plants," said Mr Morgan.

"I understand just how difficult market conditions in the television industry are."

The Bridgend plant - which produces cathode ray tubes - currently employs 1,100 permanent staff.

The Sony site at Pencoed will be unaffected by this latest announcement.

Last October, Sony announced 400 job losses between its Bridgend and Pencoed plants - which employed 3,100 staff at the time - blaming the strength of the pound and "fierce competition".

Tony Abbott, managing director of Sony Manufacturing UK, said the company was "very sorry" that it had to take this action.

He added it would enable the Bridgend plant to secure its future and to be able to respond when the market for digital products expanded.

The announcement comes four months after American electronics company Solectron is to cut 350 jobs at its south Wales plant in Cwmcarn.

Prior to that Panasonic and Hitachi plants in south Wales announced significant job losses in 2000 and Hitachi revealed it was closing its Hirwaun factory last month, shedding 174 jobs.

Widescreen contract

Sony's south Wales plants produce high quality televisions and computer screens, a market which has been hit in the last 18 months by strong competition from other manufacturers.

Last year, the Japanese company switched major work making widescreen televisions from Germany to its plants in Wales.

The company also launched a recruitment drive in 2000 to bring an extra 100 jobs to the 4,000-strong base in Wales.

Sony first opened in Wales back in 1973, expanding to employ more than 4,000 workers - winning awards for export orders.

See also:

10 Aug 01 | Wales
Hitachi plant to close
10 May 01 | Wales
Electronics giant jobs threat
03 Oct 99 | The Company File
Japan's Electronics Giant
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