Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 16:04 UK

Two firms say 111 jobs are to go

Welsh Slate quarry
Welsh Slate blames a slowdown in the construction industry for the job losses

Up to 50 people are to lose their jobs at two slate quarries, with Welsh Slate blaming a slowdown in construction.

The firm says it hopes to reduce its workforce at Bethesda and Ffestiniog quarries in Gwynedd through voluntary redundancies and early retirement.

The firm currently employs 285 people at four sites in north Wales.

Meanwhile, digger manufacturer JCB has said the number of jobs it is cutting from its transmissions factory in Wrexham has risen from 50 to 61.

Welsh Slate bought four quarries in December last year from previous owners Alfred McAlpine for 31m.

In January this year, the firm said it was "very confident and very optimistic" about the future of the business.

Announcing the job cuts, the company said it was hopeful compulsory job losses could be avoided.

JCB digger
JCB said it expected 61 jobs would go from its Wrexham plant

Managing director Alan Smith said: "The global economic downturn has caused a slowdown in the construction industry and the company must respond to this change in market conditions to protect the long-term future of Welsh Slate and its employees.

"We will do everything possible to ensure that the necessary reduction in staffing numbers can be achieved through a voluntary redundancy programme and offer whatever support and assistance we can to staff during this difficult period."

Last month, JCB said it was laying off 50 workers from its Wrexham site due to falling orders, part of a programme in which around 650 positions will go across the UK.

The firm now says 61 jobs are at risk in Wrexham, 53 on shopfloor and eight staff positions. The plant has already lost 56 jobs in the past year.

A JCB spokesman said: "Consultations over job losses at JCB Transmissions are continuing. We are also currently assessing voluntary redundancy applications in an effort to minimise compulsory redundancies."

Quarry future 'very optimistic'
08 Jan 08 |  North West Wales
30 jobs are lost at JCB factories
07 Apr 08 |  North East Wales
Slate quarries are sold for 31m
24 Dec 07 |  North West Wales

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