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TRW to shed jobs from Pontypool plant

More than 150 jobs are to be shed at TRW’s Pontypool, South Wales brake and steering plant. The cuts, which will be brought in at the end of the year, are being blamed on a tail-off in trade and the collapse of MG Rover.

TRW, which has described the workforce reduction as “essential”, is increasing the working week from 27 hours to 39 for its remaining staff.

Currently 638 people are employed at the facility.

Plant manager Steve Stott says: “This is a difficult decision but a necessary one in order to improve our competitiveness. Consultation with employees and their representatives has started. We will look for redeployment opportunities within TRW’s other operations and will seek volunteers for redundancy.

“Given the number of jobs at risk of redundancy, however, it is likely that we will need to move into a compulsory programme. We will, of course, consult with employee representatives and provide appropriate support to those affected by this announcement.”

Welsh Automotive Forum (WAF) chief executive Tim Williams told AM the WAF has already introduced a package of retraining programmes for component companies having to make redundancies.

“This could be an opportunity to look for new partnerships,” he says.

In a press statement, Tony Hancock, regional secretary of the TGWU in Wales, says: “Time and again we have seen multinationals relocate from Wales with relative ease. We are, as always, the cheap and easy option when companies want to reduce costs.

“We are working hard to ensure that the TRW plant in Pontypool has a secure future. If this fails, however, it is imperative that the people employed there and their communities are protected,” Hancock says.

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