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Last Updated: Friday, 30 March 2007, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
End of 47 years at Treorchy plant
David Rees

The closure of Burberry's Treorchy factory heralds the end of a career spanning almost half a century for one 62-year-old.

David Rees, a team leader, began working at the warehouse, then known as Polikoff's, straight from school and continued at the factory for 47 years.

It was there he met his wife, Pauline, who worked as a wages clerk for 22 years until she left in 1980.

Their daughter Emma was employed by Burberry, which took over the factory in 1989, on quality inspection for six years.

"Burberry has been a real family concern," said Mr Rees.

"In general terms it is like one big family here - everybody is friends with each other and everybody knows each other."

The clothing firm announced in September it planned to end production at the factory because it was not "commercially viable".

I can't see myself getting a job at 62 - I have got my allotment to look after so I will probably spend more time on that
David Rees

Burberry finally shut the doors after a three-month extension to the original closure date to allow staff to retrain and find alternative work.

Of the original 309 workers facing unemployment, 175 have already found other jobs.

But Mr Rees is not confident he will find other work close to home.

"I can't see myself getting a job at 62," he said. "I have got my allotment to look after so I will probably spend more time on that.

David Rees at his wedding to wife Pauline in 1968
David Rees met his wife Pauline at the factory

"I will manage financially, but I don't know about the younger people in the factory.

"I have been paying into my pension and I have been gearing up for retirement.

"I feel terrible for the younger workers because there is nothing in the valleys for them now.

"It means that they will have to travel out of the valley to find work but a lot of them haven't got transport."

People crying

Burberry have offered a multi-million pound package to workers in the form of a loyalty bonus and community trust fund, but Mr Rees said he will remain bitter about Treorchy production being moved overseas.

"I'm gutted about Burberry," he said. "All the years I have been here - I think it is very shoddy the way they have gone about it.

"It is just pure greed. They could have kept the factory going, no problem.

"There have been a lot of people crying on the shop floor this last week."

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