WORKERS faced with losing their jobs at an electronics factory have been offered a glimmer of hope.
Employees at the Sharp factory in Llay were left devastated last month after company bosses told them up to 250 workers and about 360 agency staff were to be laid off as the firm ends production of solar panels at the factory on Llay Industrial Estate.
But with the operations due to come to a halt at the end of February, the company is reported to be offering early voluntary redundancy to workers producing microwaves at the factory in the hope some of the solar workers can be kept on there.
The news was revealed by Bryan Apsley, North East Wales regional officer for Unite, who held talks with Sharp bosses yesterday.
Once the job losses have taken effect, it is estimated there will be 140 Sharp employees left at the site where the company will continue to produce microwave ovens. Mr Apsley, said: “We talked about offering voluntary redundancy to avoid compulsory redundancy where possible.
“A letter is due to be sent out to see if any staff want to volunteer.
“There might be some from the microwave division who want to go as they’re coming to the end of their working life.
“Everybody is allowed to volunteer.
“Our next meeting will be on January 27, which will be the final consultation meeting and we will have an idea of how many volunteers there will be.”
Speaking in December, Hiroshi Sasaoka, Sharp’s chief executive officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the decision to close the solar manufacturing facility was difficult to make, but unavoidable in the current business conditions.
Some workers were reported to be reduced to tears on the day the announcement was made as they faced the prospect of a bleak Christmas and an uncertain future in 2014.