Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Bosch jobs threat 'devastating'

Bosch Miskin plant
Bosch says orders have slumped by 30% for the Miskin plant

An announcement that 250 jobs could go at the Bosch factory in south Wales has been described as a "devastating blow".

The firm has blamed a 30% drop in orders for the motor industry component plant at Miskin, near Llantrisant.

It takes the number of job cuts threatened in Wales this week to more than 750, including 337 jobs at the Hoover factory in Merthyr Tydfil.

A motor industry expert has warned that Wales faces a further 1,500 job losses in the sector in coming months.

The assembly government said it would hold talks with Bosch managers.

The company, which makes alternators, broke the news to the 1,200 strong workforce in Miskin on Wednesday, telling them that it was now entering a 90-day consultation period on the plans.

It also confirmed an earlier decision to reduce agency workers at the site by up to 300 posts.

'Low morale'

"We were hoping that 2009 would see a return in stability, but unfortunately our customer order reductions continue," the company said in a statement.

"As a result we will not have sufficient work to retain our entire existing Bosch workforce in full-time employment.

"It is with great regret that we have had to make this decision and we will continue to keep all employees fully informed during this difficult process."

Hoover factory at Merthyr Tydfil
Hoover says it can no longer make appliances in Merthyr 'competitively'

A number of workers who contacted BBC Wales anonymously described morale at the factory as "low".

"There are very little plans for Bosch Cardiff beyond 2011 - we believe the factory is now slowly being wound down," remarked one person who said they had just been informed of the decision.

Plaid Cymru AM Chris Franks said it was "very difficult news" for the workforce and their families, and a devastating blow for the local community and economy.

"This area has already suffered significantly with the 200 job losses announced at L'Oreal last month.

An assembly government spokesperson said every means possible would be explored to support the company.

"The Welsh Assembly Government will do everything it can to save jobs and help Welsh manufacturing companies weather a world wide downturn," added the spokesperson.

On Tuesday Hoover announced it is considering halting production at Merthyr, with the loss of 337 jobs.

Christmas shutdown

In the Vale of Glamorgan, 90 posts are going when a care home closes, while 50 staff at a car parts plant in Tonyrefail in Rhondda Cynon Taf are also at risk

Twenty jobs have also been cut at a drug factory in Ceredigion, and in north Wales 20 jobs will go in Llangefni and Denbigh at a farm machinery firm.

The steelmaker Corus has also announced it intends extending the Christmas shutdown at Llanwern near Newport.

However, the firm said no posts were under threat with workers being given other duties at the plant.

But the company did confirm that it is imposing an overtime ban, with parts of the site being due to close in the next few weeks, possibly staying shut until early March.

Against this background, Garel Rhys, director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff Business School, warned of further job losses in Wales' motor industry.

He said: "Possibly, there's about 1,500 other job losses going to occur in the Welsh motor industry in the few months ahead."

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