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Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007, 14:39 GMT
The Automatic for Burberry show
The Automatic
The Automatic are currently on a UK tour
Some of Wales' top rock acts have pledged to perform at a concert being organised as part of a campaign to save jobs at Burberry in south Wales.

The Automatic, Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals and The Alarm are to perform at the 24 March gig.

The Pop Factory in Porth is organising the event with proceeds going into a trust to support affected workers.

It will go ahead six days before the planned closure of the Treorchy plant and 300 job losses.

A high profile campaign to keep the factory open has attracted support from a number of celebrities.

Gruff Rhys
Gruff Rhys will play a few days before the factory's planned closure

They include singer Sir Tom Jones, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, actors Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Ifans, Michael Sheen and Emma Thompson and singer-turned-TV presenter Charlotte Church.

Clothing firm Burberry has said it plans to close the site because it is not "commercially viable" but said it intended to continue UK production in Yorkshire.

In January, the clothing firm announced a 22% increase in revenue and Burberry's total sales rose to 206m during the last three months of 2006.

On Monday, The Pop Factory announced it was organising a concert at the Ystrad Rhondda Leisure Centre on 24 March - six days prior to the planned closure of the Burberry plant.

Emyr Afan, from The Pop Factory said: "As a factory in the Rhondda, we are aware of the importance of protecting and supporting the community around us, just like the great Corona works did before us.

"The proposed closure of the Burberry factory... is a real slap in the face to their loyal workforce in Wales.

Burberry in Treorchy
Burberry says it will not abandon the UK

"We at the Pop Factory know no better way to bring the plight of these workers to a greater awareness here and abroad than through a rock concert with some of Wales' finest artists.

"All artists will appear for free and all the proceeds will be donated to a trust created to support the families of the workers at this uncertain time in their lives"

The GMB union is planning to stage protests outside Burberry stores in New York, Los Angeles and Paris on Wednesday as part of the campaign to stop Burberry transferring work overseas.

In January, Burberry announced it would give the Treorchy factory to the community, effectively guaranteeing the plant's value at 1m by underwriting its assets.

Burberry chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said: "Our primary concern has always been to assist employees in Treorchy who are affected by the closure, particularly with finding new employment, and we continue to do all we can to help."

Burberry has said it does not intend to abandon the UK and it has offered Welsh staff jobs in Yorkshire.




SEE ALSO
Actor Sheen backs Burberry fight
11 Feb 07 |  South East Wales
Row over 'Burberry hate campaign'
04 Feb 07 |  Mid Wales

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