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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 12:59 GMT
Tom Jones joins Burberry campaign
Sir Tom Jones
Tom Jones called on Burberry to withdraw the factory closure plan
Singer Tom Jones has added his voice to calls for UK clothing brand Burberry to reverse the plans to close its Rhondda manufacturing plant.

The Pontypridd-born star said he knew "how important this factory has been to the local community".

Burberry plans to shut the site in Treorchy in March, with the loss of 300 jobs, claiming it is no longer viable.

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant is to call on the Commons to review the way Royal Warrants are given to firms.

Burberry, which has "by appointment" Royal Warrants with the Queen and the Prince of Wales, has been criticised for promoting itself as a UK brand while planning to axe one of its British manufacturing sites.

A Royal Warrant is our national seal of approval and it should only go to great British companies that stand by traditional British values
Rhondda MP Chris Bryant

Treorchy's production of polo shirts will be moved overseas - the company says to Asia or Europe, while the union claims it would be to China.

The decision came as the firm announced a 22% increase in revenue, with total sales over the last three months of 2006 rising to 206m.

MPs on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, who are holding an inquiry on the effects of globalisation, are to question Burberry bosses about their decision.

Other stars who have lent their name to the campaign against the factory's closure include Hollywood actors Ioan Gruffudd - one of the company's "faces" - and Rhys Ifans and double Oscar winner Emma Thompson as well as the opera singer Bryn Terfel.

Tom Jones
The 'local boy' began in 1963 in Tommy Scott and the Senators

Sir Tom, 66, wrote to Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews.

"As a local boy, I know how important this factory has been to the community in the Rhondda.

"I therefore urge the Burberry management to withdraw their plans to close their Treorchy factory."

The workers' campaign has included a demonstration outside the firm's stores in London's Regent Street and New Bond St.

A second protest is planned for 27 January.

Chris Bryant has a debate in the Commons on Tuesday about the rules governing the awards of Royal Warrants.

He said: "A Royal Warrant is our national seal of approval and it should only go to great British companies that stand by traditional British values.

"Any company that cannot say how much the workers making its goods overseas are paid - or cannot guarantee that children will not be used in their factories - should lose that seal of approval."




SEE ALSO
Burberry gifts 'complete insult'
24 Dec 06 |  South East Wales
Terfel supports Burberry campaign
17 Dec 06 |  South East Wales
Gruffudd supports Burberry fight
27 Nov 06 |  South East Wales

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