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Friday, September 10, 1999 Published at 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK


UK: Wales

Threat to hundreds of jobs

Hundreds of jobs are threatened in south Wales

Around 300 jobs could be at risk at two south Wales factories.

Managers at Bairdwear Clothing are considering the future of factories at Maesteg and Pontardawe.

The company has seven factories in Wales with 122 employed in Maesteg and 174 in Pontardawe.

Both factories make lingerie for Marks and Spencer and employ mostly women.

Second blow

It is the second blow for the area after the closure of the Lucas plant in Ystradgynlais earlier this year with the loss of 750 jobs.

A company spokesman said: "Bairdwear Clothing, part of William Baird, have commenced formal consultations with the GMB Union concerning the future of their manufacturing site at Maesteg and Pontardawe.

"In the context of a difficult trading environment with falling orders and severe price deflation, Bairdwear Clothing needs to take action that adjusts capacity to current and projected demand.

"In the event that redundancies follow, the company will provide professional out-placement support and do all it can to assist employees to find alternative employment."

Bitter disappointment

The consultation with unions is expected to last around 90 days.

GMB Regional union official Tina Williams said the news had come as a bitter disappointment.

She said there had been speculation about the future of the factories but it was still a shock for the workforce.

It is hoped that some of the staff could transfer to other plants.



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