AN MP has rounded on a major supermarket chain on the day a cheese packaging factory closed, putting 231 people out of work.
Susan Elan Jones MP described the job losses at First Milk in Cross Lanes, Marchwiel as a “bitter blow”.
Yesterday the doors of the plant shut for the final time.
The decision to close the Maelor Creamery followed the loss of a big contract with supermarket giant Asda.
A subsequent strategic review by company bosses concluded the site was no longer economically viable.
And yesterday Ms Jones, MP for Clwyd South, accused the supermarket giant of “ditching” the creamery’s workforce.
“The staff of First Milk have been helped by Wrexham Council, Careers Wales and other bodies to try and get new jobs, but the real issue here is that the original redundancies by First Milk should never have happened in the first place,” she said.
“The board of Asda basically ditched an excellent supplier and caused these redundancies.
“There is a message in this for anyone who thinks the supermarkets are a universally good thing.
“They can give and they can take away.
“And with First Milk, they have taken away big time – to the detriment of our area.”
Workers were told in October the factory would shut down, putting them all out of work.
In a statement First Milk spokesman David Ditcham praised the workforce.
He said: “We recognise what a difficult time this has been for our employees at Maelor and it is to their enormous credit that they have remained committed as individuals and as a team to doing a fantastic job right up to their last working day on Monday March 31.
“We have been doing everything we can to help our staff find alternative employment and we are pleased that so many of them now have new jobs to go to.
“This has only been made possible with the assistance of the Department of Work and Pensions, GAP Recruitment and Careers Wales, as well as the wide range of local companies which supported our recent jobsfair.”
In March 2012 First Milk had proposed a £17 million development of a UK centre of excellence for cheese packing and storage on the site which packs 30,000 tonnes of cheese a year, but despite getting planning permission from Wrexham Council it never came to fruition.
At the time of going to press Asda did not provide a comment.