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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Aid call over county's job losses
Greencore factory in Flintshire
Greencore employs 850 workers on several sites
A Flintshire councillor has called on the Welsh Assembly Government to tackle what he claims is a growing number of job losses in the county.

Peter McFarlane, who has responsibility for economic development, said more than 1,000 jobs had been lost in 2005.

His comments follow talks between union officials and management at the Greencore pizza company where there are fears 200 jobs could be lost.

But local AM Carl Sergeant disputed the level of job losses in the area.

'Haemorrhage of jobs'

Talks between management and unions have been taking place on Tuesday at Greencore, on the Deeside industrial park in Flintshire.

Officials of one union involved, the GMB, said they fear up to 200 jobs will be lost at Greencore, which employs about 850 workers at two factories in Deeside, and at other sites in Runcorn and Salford.

I don't agree with him that south Wales is getting preferential treatment - I would be the first to shout if that was the case
Carl Sergeant AM

The company has the capacity to produce more than 50m pizzas a year for supermarkets and catering companies.

Two weeks ago it announced 90 days of consultation, but has said it is too soon to say how many jobs will go.

Flintshire councillor Mr McFarlane said the area had lost nearly 1,000 jobs since the start of the year and special measures were needed to provide retraining for those affected.

"It's a concern that we're seeing this haemorrhage of jobs," he added.

"There have been quite a lot among smaller firms who don't hit the headlines and we need a package of measures in place to assist those who are being made redundant, particularly in providing help to re-train and re-skill people."

'Share concerns'

Mr McFarlane added that he was disappointed that Welsh Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies had failed to offer financial aid.

He said: "We've written to him, but he doesn't find himself able to offer the funding for a practical package of measures as he's done in south Wales when there've been job losses on a large scale.

"I don't think we are being treated as equitably as the south."

But Alyn and Deeside Labour AM Mr Sergeant disputed the level of job losses claimed by Mr McFarlane.

He said: "I share the concerns about redundancies and we can't afford large-scale job losses, but I don't think these figures are correct."

He added that Flintshire had one of the lowest unemployment levels in Wales and some firms were bringing in workers from Merseyside, Cheshire and other parts of north Wales because of the difficulty in recruiting locally.

He said: "I don't agree with him that south Wales is getting preferential treatment - I would be the first to shout if that was the case."


SEE ALSO:
Pizza jobs are chopped
29 Sep 01 |  England
Food factory triples production
25 Apr 05 |  North East Wales


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