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Last Updated:  Thursday, 13 March, 2003, 13:34 GMT
Car workers in voluntary cuts
The Calsonic plant in Llanelli
More than 100 workers at a troubled Llanelli car components plant have applied for voluntary redundancy.

Managers at Calsonic say it is now very unlikely any workers will be forced out as a result of staff cutbacks.

The company announced last month approximately 87 jobs would have to go at its base in Llanelli, the largest private employer in the town.

Sixty-one of the 1,100 workers in Llanelli will go within weeks with the rest of the job cuts set for the end of the year.

The move was blamed on a fall in sales of 23% in its UK market during the last three years.

By implementing a cost cutting programme to save 11m in the coming financial year from its European operations, the company said it was securing its long-term future.

It is never a pleasant thing to have to do however, if we can make voluntary redundancies it makes us feel a little better
Tim Jones

Calsonic is running a voluntary redundancy programme and workers have until 25 March to apply.

The company's human resources manager for Europe, Tim Jones, said the response had been overwhelming.

'Not pleasant'

"Within two hours of opening the scheme on 25 February, we had 30 applicants and by 10am the following day there was something like 58," he said.

"By the time the scheme closes we will have well over 100.

The Calsonic plant

"We looked at every possible way to avoid making redundancies of any kind.

"It is never a pleasant thing to have to do however, if we can make voluntary redundancies it makes us feel a little better."

Statutory redundancy

Mr Jones said the company had tried to put together an acceptable package and the age profile of the workers had helped.

"We are offering more or less double what the statutory redundancy payment would be," he said.

"Where people are of a certain age they can apply for their pension as well."

Mr Jones said as soon as the closing date to apply had passed Calsonic would inform staff as soon as possible if they had been successful.

"Because we have had such a response we would want to sort it out sooner rather than later," he added.

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