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Unilever staff tell of 'shock' at factory closure

Staff at the Unilever factory in Swansea have spoken of their 'shock' at being told they are to lose their job as the consumer goods giant announces proposals to shut a number of its sites.

Under the proposals, 225 jobs would go at Swansea with a further 25 at Bridgend.

In the north, 200 jobs at the company's IT centre in Ewloe, will be scrapped or moved to India. Around 400 jobs, will be transterred to the company's biggest UK site, Port Sunlight, 15 miles away on the Wirral.

Shadow Welsh Secretary: Unilever proposals 'grave news' for Wales

The Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Owen Smith MP has spoken out over Unilever’s proposed job reductions in Wales.

This is obviously grave news for Wales and for Swansea in particular. The city has already been hard hit by public sector job losses and the closure of the Unilever plant, if it takes place, would be a further blow. I spoke this morning to Unilever and impressed upon them the value of these jobs in Wales and urged them to use the three month review period to consider all options. I have also spoken to Ministers in the Welsh Assembly and know that they have already pledged to support Unilever in reviewing matters and to work with them to mitigate as best they can the effect on Unilever workers.

– Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith

Unilever: 'Change is necessary to ensure success'

Unilever has cited 'tough economic conditions' as a factor in today's proposals.

In a statement, the company said it would 'always be necessary' to make changes in order to grow and compete in the current climate.

The proposals announced today will be reviewed thoroughly and the outcome shared with our employees as early as possible. However, we understand that this period of uncertainty will cause concern for some of our employees who would be affected if changes were to be made, so we are fully committed to conducting all review and consultation processes properly and responsibly in order to provide clarity and certainty as soon as possible.

– Amanda Sourry, Chairman of Unilever UK and Ireland

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Unilever jobs threat 'very disappointing'

The Welsh Government has responded to Unilever's proposals to cut up to 450 jobs in Wales, saying it's 'very disappointing'.

Government officials say they've met Unilever executives to discuss the impact of the proposals and what help could be given, but the decision to close stands.

Today's announcement will be a devastating blow for Unilever's workforce and their families in Wales. We asked the company to fully consider the range of support offered to businesses by the Welsh Government and invited them to work together with us to implement a more sustainable solution for Wales by seeking to maintain current operations at its Welsh sites. The proposals for Ewloe, Swansea and Bridgend are therefore very disappointing but we are hopeful Unilever can offer future opportunities for some of its north Wales workers through investment at its site at Port Sunlight in Merseyside.

– Business Minister Edwina Hart

450 Welsh Unilever jobs at risk

Consumer goods giant Unilever has announced plans to close a number of UK sites including up to 450 in Wales.

The proposals involve the closure of factories in Swansea with the loss of 225 jobs and a distribution site in Bridgend with the loss of 25 jobs.

At Ewloe in North Wales, 400 jobs would be transferred across the border to Merseyside, 100 transferred to Bangalore in India and 100 more lost.

The proposals include plans to invest £40 million in Port Sunlight, its biggest UK factory, on the Wirral, Merseyside, with the creation of 150 new jobs.

The proposed changes, to take effect by the end of 2013, could lead to 500 direct job losses and around 300 contractor and third-party jobs.