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Last Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007, 17:14 GMT
Al Fayed backs workers' venture
Mohamed Al Fayed
Mr Al Fayed pledged to support the workers
Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed says he will place orders for clothing with workers who will go it alone when the Burberry factory in Treorchy closes.

The plant, which makes polo shirts for the designer, will close at the end of March, with production moved abroad.

Between 30 and 70 employees have said they hope to continue making polo shirts at the site if they can secure enough orders.

Mr Al Fayed met a 30-strong delegation of workers and pledged his support.

Burberry announced last year it planned to shut the site in Treorchy in March, with the loss of 300 jobs, because it was no longer viable.

A campaign to keep the factory open has attracted support from a number of politicians and celebrities including Sir Tom Jones, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, actors Michael Sheen, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Ifans and Emma Thompson and singer/TV presenter Charlotte Church.

A series of protests have also been held at Burberry stores across the world including Paris, New York, Chicago, Strasbourg and Las Vegas.

In January, Burberry announced it would give 1m to either keep the plant as a going concern or to redevelop the empty site.

Burberry factory, Treorchy
More than 300 people will lose their job when the plant closes

And last week the company offered to pay a special "loyalty bonus" to workers. Mr Al Fayed met a delegation of Burberry workers on Monday at the steps of the High Court in London where he was attending a hearing into inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana and his son Dodi Al Fayed.

A meeting was later held at Harrods.

Mervyn Burnett, of the workers' union the GMB, said: "There's a really up-beat feeling with the workers.

"It's good to know that as well as the celebrity support, we've got big names in retailing taking us seriously as well.

"That factory made top quality clothing that was British made through and through.

"Now we have an opportunity to retain these skills and maintain a manufacturing base in Wales."

"I will vist the factory myself to see the potential"

Actor Sheen backs Burberry fight
11 Feb 07 |  South East Wales

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