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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 06:56 GMT
Site of strike factory is sold
Friction Dynamics sign
Former workers at the plant are still fighting for compensation
The site of one of Wales' longest running industrial disputes has been sold to developers.

Bluefield Land and Twenty20 Homes have jointly bought the old Friction Dynamics car parts site near Caernarfon for "non-industrial" development.

Factory staff picketed the site for more than two years after being sacked in 2001 for taking industrial action.

They said they would continue to fight for compensation from Friction Dynamics after they won an employment tribunal.

The 86 sacked workers won their case for unfair dismissal but they did not get any compensation from the company's American owner Craig Smith because Friction Dynamics went into administration in August 2003.

No tears will be spilt that Mr Smith is cutting his connections with the area
Alun Ffred Jones AM

Another company owned by Mr Smith, Ferotech Realty, were, until the sale to developers, the owners of the site.

But it has now been sold to Bluefield Caernarfon Ltd - a joint venture between Cardiff-based companies Bluefield Land, a company which regenerates environmentally sensitive land, and Twenty20 Homes, another development company.

Land and planning director for Bluefield Land, Gary Goodman said: "We are looking at a wide range of non-industrial options for the site at this stage, in consultation with the local community."

Look to the future

The factory is currently being used by a company called Celtic (Gwynedd) Ltd.

A spokesman for the company said they would stop production soon and their 19 workers would be made redundant.

Tom Jones, the former workers' union rep, said the sacked Friction Dynamics workers were determined to continue to pursue Mr Smith for compensation.

"If he has sold the site and got a substantial sum of money for that site then certainly part of that should be paid in compensation, as the courts decided, to the people who were dismissed," he said.

"We're not going to let go, it's as simple as that."

Local assembly member, Alun Ffred Jones, said "no tears will be spilt that Mr Smith is cutting his connections with the area".

He added the region must "look forward to the future and see whether that area can be developed for the benefit of the whole of north west Wales."

Craig Smith was not available for comment.

New plans for strike factory site
16 Nov 06 |  North West Wales
'No collusion at Friction' ruling
15 Jun 06 |  North West Wales
Friction workers address TUC
08 Sep 03 |  North West Wales
Legal threat over strike firm
20 Aug 03 |  Wales
End of Friction picket
20 Nov 03 |  Wales

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