450 Unilever jobs under threat
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Consumer goods giant Unilever is planning to shut its sites in Flintshire, Swansea and Bridgend, putting 450 jobs at risk.
The company said 200 jobs could go at the firm's IT centre in Ewloe and 400 other posts transferred to Merseyside.
Around 225 jobs could be lost through the closure of its Swansea factory, and 25 at a distribution site in Bridgend.
The firm also plans to shut a plant in Slough, Berkshire, bringing the total number of losses to 800.
The company has a total workforce of around 7,200 and makes products ranging from Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Marmite, PG Tips and Pot Noodles to Dove soap, Vaseline, Persil and Domestos.
It said the proposed changes could take effect by the end of 2013 and would be made up of 500 direct job losses and around 300 contractor and third party jobs.Outsourced
The Swansea factory makes personal care products, while in Bridgend the company has a distribution site.
Some of the jobs in Ewloe could be outsourced to Unilever's IT centre in Bangalore, India.
End Quote Amanda Sourry Chair of Unilever UK and Ireland
Like many companies today, Unilever faces the challenge of creating growth opportunities against a backdrop of very tough economic conditions in Europe”
Reviews of the proposals are expected to be concluded in the autumn, with a final decision taken in September.
However, Unilever said it would be investing £40m in its largest UK factory in Port Sunlight, Merseyside.
Amanda Sourry, chair of Unilever UK and Ireland, said: "Like many companies today, Unilever faces the challenge of creating growth opportunities against a backdrop of very tough economic conditions in Europe.
"While Unilever is growing well in the UK and globally, it will always be necessary to make changes which raise our game and ensure our continued success.
"We believe these proposals would substantially strengthen our platform for long-term growth and competitiveness."'Devastating blow'
Carl Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside and Local Government Minister, whose constituency includes Ewloe, said he was "deeply saddened" to hear the news from Unilever.
"I will continue to work tirelessly with representatives from Unilever, my colleagues in the Welsh government and from the staff's union, Unite, to provide whatever support we can to the staff affected," he said.
Unite national officer Jennie Formby said officials would be meeting management to discuss the relocation of workers at Ewloe to a new IT centre at Port Sunlight.
Meanwhile, Business Minister Edwina Hart said the company's announcement would be a "devastating blow for Unilever's workforce and their families in Wales".
She added: "Officials from Welsh government recently met with senior executives from Unilever to discuss the impact of the company's plans 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."
Flintshire council said it was seeking an urgent meeting with Unilever following the announcement.