Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 17:18 UK

185 jobs are to go at tape plant

Aerial photograph of the 3M plant in Gorseinon
The 3M plant in Gorseinon, Swansea, opened in 1952

Up to 185 jobs are to be cut at a long-established tape factory in Swansea, it has been confirmed.

3M in Gorseinon, which manufactures a range of products including adhesives and aerosols, said it had experienced a decline in demand.

A further 27 positions are also under review at the site, which currently employees 351 people.

Plant manager John Bowers said the redundancies were necessary for the company to remain competitive.

Management at the factory, which opened in Gorseinon in 1952, has already completed a 90-day consultation period with employees after it announced in January that its future was uncertain.

It will start a further period of consultation in order to discuss how best to achieve the necessary redundancies.

Everyone at the plant recognises the challenges we have faced over the past three years
John Bowers, plant manager

The jobs are likely to be phased out over the next 14 months.

The company said a range of support services will be available for affected employees, including financial advice and training for alternative careers.

It also assured the workforce it will try to find job opportunities at its other sites in the UK and, where appropriate, provide relocation assistance.

Mr Bowers said: "We have explored all options with employees throughout the consultation period and concluded that some fundamental changes are needed if our products are to remain competitive.

'Competitive pressures'

"We need to consolidate our manufacturing capacity in order to achieve improved economies of scale and be located closer to our key customers. Sadly, that means significant changes for our plant here."

The company said that there would be no compulsory job losses before September this year.

It anticipated that the redundancy programme would be completed by June 2009.

Mr Bowers added: "Everyone at the plant recognises the challenges we have faced over the past three years and knows that, together, we have done everything possible to turn the situation around.

"Competitive pressures are ever-present, but we believe the steps we are announcing today will help ensure the medium to longer term future of the scaled-down plant."

3M, which employs 76,200 people worldwide, makes well-known brands including Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate and Scotch-Brite.

The union Unite said it was "concerned" at the job losses and added: "Unite will do everything within its power to support and protect its members."




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