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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October, 2004, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Phone mast firm job cuts meeting
Loading onto a lorry at Elliott's
The company blames a drop in orders and objections to phone masts
Union officials have met management at a Powys engineering firm, after it announced it was cutting half of its workforce.

Around 70 jobs will go within the next month at Elliotts in Newtown.

The company, which also has two factories in England, employs almost 150 people in Newtown.

Transport and General Workers Union official Keith Jones said news of the redundancies has come out of the blue and had devastated the workforce.

The company, which set up in Newtown in 1967, blamed a drop in demand for its mobile phone mast structures.

It builds and equips boxes needed to operate the masts.

Mr Jones said the company had told him that public objection to mobile phone masts had led directly to the drop in orders.

It is the latest round of job cuts in the area, after Laura Ashley announced 90 posts were going in its factories in Newtown and Carno last month.

Mick Bates, AM for Montgomeryshire, called for "urgent answers" from the Assembly's Economic Development Minister over what the Assembly Government planned to do.

"How does the minister plan to restore confidence to this part of Wales?" he said.

" The constant drip of job losses in manufacturing is having a deeply damaging effect in rural Wales. If he doesn't take action, Newtown and the whole of Mid Wales will end up paying the price."

Councillor Beryl Vaughan, of Powys council, said: "This is going to be terrible yet again for Newtown - the loss of 70 jobs in a place like this is devastating."


SEE ALSO:
Laura Ashley cuts 90 jobs
14 Sep 04  |  Wales
More clothing jobs lost
16 Jan 04  |  Mid


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