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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
Burberry fight taken to assembly
Burberry protest at the assembly
About 70 Burberry workers and their families protested at the assembly
Workers at the threatened Burberry factory in south Wales have held a demonstration against its closure at the Welsh assembly.

The Rhondda-based factory, which employs 309 people, is in consultation about closing at the end of the year and moving production abroad.

Campaigners have held previously held demonstrations at the factory.

Earlier this month, there were protests outside the designer's store in London about the closure.

Thursday's lunchtime demonstration was addressed by Rhondda politicians Chris Bryant MP and Leighton Andrews AM.

A small group of workers took the protest inside the assembly's Senedd building in Cardiff Bay.

Mervyn Burnett, senior organiser for the GMB union, said: "This is the next step in the GMB campaign to gather support from elected representatives and others to maintain Burberry production in south Wales".

Burberry factory sign
The firm plans to close the factory at the end of the year

The factory in Treorchy makes polo shirts and production will go where costs are lower, possibly to Asia or South America.

Burberry has said the factory is no longer "commercially viable", but it would not abandon the UK. The union is asking the company to consider bringing new work to the Rhondda.

It says Burberry could make raincoats in Wales rather than increasing the amount of rainwear it makes in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

If the company was to make the extra 45,000 coats they plan to in Rhondda instead, the GMB says the company could save 220 of the 300 threatened jobs.

The firm would need to move to a smaller site than its Treorchy base, but the union believes one could be found in the area, possibly with help from the assembly government.

A Burberry spokeswoman said the company would look at all options, as the intention to close was "only a proposition".

Leighton Andrews AM has urged south Wales-born movie star Ioan Gruffudd, who promotes Burberry, to back the campaign to keep the factory open.


SEE ALSO
Burberry versus The Chavs
28 Oct 05 |  Business
Asia demand lifts Burberry sales
12 Jul 06 |  Business

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