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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 March 2007, 14:28 GMT
Rock acts play for Burberry staff
Gruff Rhys
Gruff Rhys played a few days before the factory's planned closure
Some of Wales' top rock acts performed for 300 Rhondda Burberry workers who lose their jobs next week.

The Automatic, Gruff Rhys and The Alarm headlined a concert at the Ystrad Rhondda Leisure Centre on Saturday.

Mike Peters from The Alarm said their taking part in the fundraising gig was a political statement.

Peters said it sent "a message out to other businesses" who are thinking of doing the same as Burberry is doing and "maybe they'll think again".

The concert was organised by The Pop Factory media complex in nearby Porth as part of the campaign to save the Treorchy factory.

We just hope today's concert will bring a smile back on the workers' faces
Organiser Dave Driscoll

Proceeds will go to a trust to support affected workers and their families.

Dave Driscoll, one of the organisers, said: "Doing a concert like this is fun ( but) it doesn't take away the serious issue that they are closing the factory.

"We just hope the concert will bring a smile back on the workers' faces."

Last September Burberry announced a review had found that the Rhondda plant, which makes polo shirts, was not "commercially viable".

Production is being transferred overseas and shared between sites in Spain, Poland, Portugal and China.

A high-profile campaign to keep the jobs in south Wales has included international protests and drawn support from a number of celebrities.

The Automatic
The Automatic are one of the bands who performed

They included 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.

In January, Burberry announced its revenue had increased by 22% and total sales rose to 206m during the last three months of 2006.

The company also said it would give the Treorchy plant to the community, effectively guaranteeing the plant's value at 1m by underwriting its assets.

However, it has since revised its offer, and pledged to give the community 150,000 a year for the next ten years. Plans for its distribution are still under discussion.

The company has stressed it does not intend to abandon the UK, and it offered Welsh staff jobs in Yorkshire.

Dave Driscoll said: "Burberry have come back and made a commitment to the area with a large sum of money, they've increased the redundancy payments.

"In reality the money we have raised isn't going to keep the factory open but it is all going to go towards the workers' fund to do as they wish."




SEE ALSO
The Automatic for Burberry show
12 Feb 07 |  South East Wales
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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