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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Q&A: Friction Dynamics
Union member in strike march
Sacked workers have picketed the plant for more than two years
The recent closure of the car parts factory Friction Dynamics provided a sharp twist in a saga that has seen the company become the focus of the UK's longest-running strike.

As the company re-opens under a new name, BBC Wales' Business Correspondent Gareth Jones analyses the situation.

What's been happening recently with Friction Dynamics?

Two weeks ago Friction Dynamics was forced into administration.

The company ran out of money and Craig Smith then sacked the remaining 93 workers.

Since then a new entity called Dynamex Friction has taken on several dozen workers with a view to restarting production on the site using the existing plant.

It appears to be a complicated picture.

It does. Craig Smith owns the site. At least some of the assets of the old Friction Dynamics have been bought by companies connected with him or his family.

Mr Smith owns the site and the new company is thought to be paying him 25,000 a month in rent.

The new company is run by Marc Jones, a former manager at the Friction Dynamics plant.

Local politicians are unhappy with what's happened there. What do they want?

The MP for Caernarfon and Assembly Member Alun Ffred Jones are calling on the Department of Trade and Industry to look into the affair.

They are particularly concerned about how Mr Smith has managed to divest himself of the old company and in the process avoided paying money to workers he sacked two and half years ago.

They won an industrial tribunal case and were awarded compensation.

They also want the Welsh Assembly Government to investigate what happened to around a 1m grant paid to the company in 1999.

Workers taken on at strike plant
18 Aug 03  |  North West Wales
New start at troubled car plant
15 Aug 03  |  North West Wales
Strike plant workers lose jobs
07 Aug 03  |  Wales

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