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Last Updated:  Monday, 31 March, 2003, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
KTH worker worries over future
Paul Matthews and family
Job loss means the family's future is uncertain
One of the 240 workers at a mid-Wales factory who will lose his job if the factory closes this year has spoken of his fears for the future.

Father-of-four Paul Matthews is a die-caster at the Llanidloes-based KTH car component plant.

In February, the company announced the factory would start to close down on 11 May when the first 60 jobs would go.

Politicians and union officials are currently holding talks to try to find a rescue package.

Two years ago we took an 18% pay cut to ensure the company survived and we've slogged our guts out ever since.
Paul Matthews, KTH worker

Meanwhile, Mr Matthews and other workers are left to worry about their future.

"I was gutted when we were told the factory was closing," said Mr Matthews, who has worked at the plant since 1996.

"Two years ago we took an 18% pay cut to ensure the company survived, and we've slogged our guts out ever since.

"I only took three days holiday last year to make sure orders were completed.

"The company had taken on more than 100 new staff so the closure announcement was a shattering blow to everybody," he added.

Paul Matthews at job centre
The job centre provided little hope

Mr Matthews has already visited Newtown Job Centre to consider future employment opportunities.

"It was the first time I'd ever been in a job centre and, to be perfectly honest, there was nothing there for me," he said.

The KTH factory provides well-paid jobs, and workers can earn up to 850 if they complete a 70-hour week.

"People live according to their means and the factory's closure will mean a huge drop in income for everyone," said Mr Matthews.

He is considering returning to his previous trade of carpet fitting which he did for 23 years before starting work at KTH.

"The reason I gave up carpet fitting is because that job took me all around the country and I wanted to spend more time at home with my family," said Mr Matthews, whose four children are aged between six and 13 years old.

Peter Hain
Welsh Secretary will talk with Ford about orders

"My wife works shifts at Llanidloes hospital, so any work I do get will probably mean that we will have to pay for child-care.

"But at least I do have another trade to fall back on, which a lot of other people working at KTH don't have."

But moves to find a rescue package for the plant are continuing and Mr Matthews was part of a delegation that travelled to meet Welsh Secretary, Peter Hain on 25 March.

"I felt very positive after that meeting because Peter Hain said he would contact Ford to see if that company could provide us with more orders," he said.

Ford provides KTH with two-thirds of its orders including providing water pumps for its plant in Cologne.

"That plant sent us a telex stating they didn't want their order to leave our factory because the quality of the parts was so good," said Mr Matthews.

"All we can do now is wait and see if everyone can come up with a solution to save the factory," he added.




SEE ALSO:
Hain's promise on factory jobs
25 Mar 03  |  Wales
KTH jobs set to go
21 Feb 03  |  Wales


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