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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 17:38 GMT
Final settlement for fibreglass workers
Owens Corning in Wrexham
Workers were told of the closure at a meeting last week
More than 200 workers at a fibreglass factory in Wrexham - who heard last week they were losing their jobs - have been told the details of the settlement package.

Union bosses outlined the redundancy agreement to staff from Owens Corning Fibreglass plant on Wednesday.

The packages were relatively generous compared to what would be a statutory redundancy package

Mike Jefferies, T&G union

It follows a meeting of Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) representatives and managers at the site which is to close on 3 January.

T&G regional organiser Mike Jefferies said the package for the 230 staff had, on the whole, been well received.

"The workers were happy, the remuneration was at least reasonable but they were sad about the closure of the plant where many of them spent most of their working lives."

"The packages were relatively generous compared to what would be a statutory redundancy package.

"The average settlement will be a year's salary."

Sector weak

The closure of the plant, which makes materials for the glass reinforcements market, has been blamed on the strong pound.

Managers at the Bryn Lane Industrial Estate facility said it was cheaper for the company to close its operation in Britain than other plants elsewhere in Europe.

Mr Jefferies said the manufacturing sector in the region remained weak and he called on the government to do more to help industry instead of relying on the service sector.

However, Mr Jefferies also said the workers effected by the factory closure stood a good chance of finding alternative employment.

"The workers are highly skilled - if there are jobs out there then they are better placed than most to secure them."

Workers leaving the meeting, held at the Wrexham Miners Institute, were said to be happy with the redundancy package offered by the company.

Global review

Staff are being paid their normal wages until the end of the year.

But they added that they had worked hard for the company and the pay-offs were no more than they deserved.

The closure follows a global review of the company aimed at improving performance and profits.

Bosses said the plant had made operating losses for the past five years.

Manufacture of those products will be shifted to company sites around the world.

The company's other Welsh sites at nearby Queensferry and at Pontypool in south Wales were sold off two years ago.

A US $5bn global corporation, Owens Corning invented fibreglass - a reinforced plastic material composed of glass fibres embedded in a resin matrix.


More from north east Wales
See also:

03 Dec 02 | Wales
27 Sep 00 | Business
14 Nov 99 | Science/Nature
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