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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Strike plant workers lose jobs
Friction Dynamics workers
Workers have maintained a picket for more than two years
The entire workforce at the strike-hit Friction Dynamics factory at Caernarfon has been dismissed.

American owner Craig Smith has placed the car parts plant, near Caernarfon, in administration after the company lost 4m in six years.

The 93 workers at the plant have been told they have lost their jobs after a court hearing in Manchester on Thursday.

The factory has been the scene of the UK's current longest-running industrial dispute.

North Wales can ill afford such job losses
Robert Rutherford, administrator

Staff went on strike over pay and conditions in April 2001.

Eight weeks later, 86 members of staff were sacked. Workers have kept up a picket at the plant ever since.

Last year an employment tribunal decided that the staff had been unfairly dismissed and were entitled to compensation, but Mr Smith launched an appeal against the ruling.

Workforce dismissed

His case was due to be heard in London in November.

The job losses announced on Thursday relate to the remaining 93 staff who had continued to work at the factory.

Tom Jones of the striking workers' union, the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU), said the union was exploring how the 86 sacked workers could now receive compensation.

"There is potential for some compensation from the Department of Trade and Industry," he said.

I'd do it all over again tomorrow
Former worker David Roberts
"But that will be taxpayers' money. It won't be from Mr Smith."

Former worker David Roberts said the long-running industrial action had not been in vain.

"I'd do it all over again tomorrow," he said.

"You've got to stick up for your rights."

And Ian Cunnis, one of the workers who lost his job on Thursday, added :- "It was bound to happen - but there are always other jobs. It's a factory and it's always easy to get other factory jobs. I've got bills to pay but life goes on."

"There are very few people in the factory but those who have been there have been clearing up all week."

Robert Rutherford, of administrators Parkin S Booth & Co, said that no alternative buyer had yet expressed any interest in the factory.

A statement read: "Unfortunately, the company has no funds to continue trading and all of the workforce have been dismissed.

"We are aware that some interest has been expressed in the business and we will be using our best endeavours to explore any potential interest, which could result in jobs being created.

"This is a terrible blow for the workforce and also for the local economy.

"North Wales can ill afford such job losses and I would stress that any interested party should contact my office in Llandudno as a matter of urgency."

A spokesman for the TGWU union said they were seeking an urgent meeting with the administrators.




SEE ALSO:
Town rocks to strike concert
23 Jun 03  |  North West Wales
Friction staff fear for jobs
16 May 03  |  Wales
Workers stage victory march
25 Jan 03  |  Wales
Strike factory owner to appeal
14 Jan 03  |  Wales


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