Around 132 jobs have been put at risk after the owner of an aluminium factory in Bedwas announced plans to close the plant.
Company Sapa said it was entering a consultation period with employees and unions on the closure of the Pantglas Industrial Estate factory after the UK market for aluminium solutions had “changed significantly over the last few years”.
Alan Couturier, Managing Director of Sapa Profiles UK said: “In light of the change to market conditions, our commitment to continue manufacturing in the UK remains strong. We believe that there is a need in the UK for a quality producer that can provide a level of service exceeding current customer expectations. Achievement of this goal is paramount in our future strategy.
“we recognise the impact that this announcement will have on our colleagues at Bedwas. We very much hope that we can find alternatives to the proposal to close and will put every effort into doing so.”
Sapa has said if the plant was to close, then the company would “strive to provide all opportunities possible for future employment”.
The factory, which makes aluminium extrusions, building systems and precision tubing, was first opened in 1971.
Caerphilly MP Wayne David has pledged to do all he can to help save jobs at the factory and has contacted the firm for a meeting.
He said: “I am extremely concerned about today’s announcement. I have spoken with the company and received an assurance that there will be full consultation with the workforce, Unite the Union, the local council, the Welsh Government, the Assembly Member and myself before any decisions are taken. It was emphasised that the consultation begins next week and a conclusion will only be reached when an ‘agreement’ is reached.
“I will be liaising with my colleague Jeff Cuthbert AM, Caerphilly Council and the Welsh Government over the next few weeks. I will also be working closely with Unite the Union, of which I am a member. It is imperative to do everything possible to save these jobs. Sapa is an important employer and if the factory closes it will be a body blow to the local economy.”
20 thoughts on “132 jobs at risk in Bedwas after aluminium factory announces closure plan”
Bedwas is the most productive plant in the UK.
Bedwas has the best safety record in the UK.
Bedwas wrote the book on aluminium extrusion.
Sold out by Hydro. Slaughtered by SAPA
Ohh, and it was lovely finding out through the BBC News rather than from the spineless french f@%kers making the announcement!
The Tory Lib Dem Government have rebuilt the economy, the Welsh Assembly have declared they have created hundreds of jobs in recent months, or at least, they say their policies have allowed those jobs to be created,Cameron and Clegg together with Osbourne have all said that unemployment is not a problem, plenty of jobs about, record number of job centre vacancies, etc etc ,so, if the `froggies` rake their money and run, it should be no problem at all finding jobs for 132 skilled workers, surly?????. (not).
Yet another casualty of the fact Britain has lost the ability and desire to make things, a failure of indigenous capitalism. The problem is along standing one, going back almost a century, but the Thatcher Government is also to blame in believing we can survive on fincial services. Perhaps the City of London, can but those outside the Golden Square Mile have been sold down the river by the moneymen. I worked in Engineering for almost forty years and saw it die around me, the last ten or so years saw me travelling over the bridge on "contracts", I feel sorry for the Bedwas workers.
PS Looks like another benefit of being in the Common Market, where they take our jobs.
What a shame. I know people who used to work there. It's a terrible decision but I wish people would stop putting the whole blame on Thatcher. It wasn't just her as more mines and factories closed down under the Labour government proceeding her. She was more for destroying the unions.
It's time to introduce protectionist policies to protect British industries. It's time to break EU law and set in place British laws meaning government contracts can only go to British factories or foreign firms with a long term, legally drawn-out, commitment to Britain.
We need to tax imports into Britain from certain non-commonwealth Asian countries where manufacturing is cheap and force British consumers to buy British.
We are the best productive plant we have ploughed moillions int burtley to get them out of it they keep them open and close us come on welsh goverment shift your asse and do something
What does Wayne David hope to achieve form a meeting? He's not going to convince them to keep the factory open as the owners only care about the financial side of thins and not the social side. As soon as cheaper production can occur in another factory somewhere the will move.
That's the end of the aluminium industry in Wales! Plants in Swansea, Llantrisant, Hengoed, Briton Ferry, Dolgarrog, Rogerstone, and finally Bedwas.
Its ridiculous to suggest that this was unexpected; the entire UK aluminium industry expected this announcement, the only surprise being it wasn't made in September !
The same factors which made this inevitable apply to the rest of what is left of the UK aluminium industry. How long before the next SAPA announcement?
Happy Christmas well for another 132 people and their families it wont be.
Is it not time that our Government took a stand like France where it is nearly impossible to close a factory down.
Once again the Welsh valleys are taking the hit for the fat cats in London.
A very sad state of affairs, belonging to the EU was supposed to bring prosperity; all it has done is allow continental asset strippers a free hand.
I started my working life in the local aluminium industry, at Dialoy. These were proper manufacturing jobs where the work was often hot and arduous but the wages were good. This is just about the end for manufacturing in Wales, John Owen's coment says it all. The 'jobs' that the unfortunate workers are likely to get will be part-time retail posts. Not an equivalent job at all.
They'll be lucky if they can get a job at all. It'll probably be benefits for 6 months followed by lower paid part-time work before finally finding full time work on less pay.
I can't think of a worse time for the announcement. It ruins Christmas for those being made redundant and their families.
This is asset stripping at is worst, it looks like that SAPA bought the Bedwas plant to remove competition, in a market facing competion from outside the EU. I thought the EU was supposed to help poorer area, well Wales is one on them, and we get no help from the EU in protectimg our jobs, we are rapidly being deindutrialised and ahving our core technical base obliterated, with no pool of skilled workers.The EU was built as a capitalist organisation with free movement of capital and labour, and thai disaster in Bedwas is a fine exampleof it. If we have to bein the EU we should ensure that its one that protects the working people. If we had good and capable politicians we wwould see them involking the workers Human Rights, because the convention on HR is so wide for a start they could say the company are affecting the workers human rights to have a family life by taking their jobs away.
What a big mistake that company has made! I have several family members and friends who worked day in day out at that factory! To say it has ruined Christmas is an understatement! Somany people are worried aabout losing houses, how to pay for bills, 45 days until they lose their Jon's it's only 49 days until Christmas! Bedwas was one of the top firms creating aluminium, but was to expensive to run. Most workers are only skilled in this industry, and don't know anything else. It's going to be hard for them to get part time jobs, just to get by and pay some bills.
If the workers are paid to much why is the MD of SAPA UK on more than 3 time the salary of the British Prime Minister.
I wonder if the workers would be willing to take a pay cut? This factory is known to be very good payers way above the average wage,if the workers are willing why don't they put this forward to the Managment until the company gets back on its feet again.
Perhaps, Ron, the above mentioned head of SAPA UK would be the first to request that his pay is cut until the factory gets on its feet again? I would not hold your breath though.
I think the MD of Sapa UK just wants to make more money by paying the workforce less. If this means 132 jobs have to go so that he can keep his high salary or even pay himself more in bonuses then so be it.
These kind of people are only interested in personal gain, they don't care about the peoples lives that they wreck on the way. I think that they just need to tell us the truth, without the closure they will probably not get their big bonuses next year.
I don't hold out any hope from the consultation process, the decision is already clearly made…….
The Jobs at this factory have been at risk for well over ten years,I'm surprised they have lasted so long,the wages are well above the average wage paid in the Caerphilly county so it will be a BIG drop in wages for the workers that's IF they can find another job.