A PACKAGING factory in Deeside has announced plans to close its site with dozens of potential job losses – with workers calling the news a “betrayal of a loyal workforce”.

Mondi Consumer Goods Packaging UK Ltd today informed its workforce at Deeside that their manufacturing facility is to close resulting in 168 redundancies.

The workforce has been told that the company is pulling out of the UK and that the work will be transferred to other locations within its global business.

Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary, said: “Our members who work for Mondi at Deeside are this afternoon in complete shock following the announcement by their employer that they are closing their workplace and exiting from the UK.

The Leader:

Mondi logo

“This is a betrayal of a loyal workforce, who only two years ago rescued the site from administration. Unite expects answers from Mondi and a full explanation as to how they have come to this disgraceful decision. We will be subjecting Mondi to rigorous scrutiny and doing everything within our power to reverse this announcement.

“If this decision is upheld it will have a devastating effect on the economy of North Wales and be yet another hammer blow to our manufacturing base in Wales.”

A worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that he was left ‘devastated’ by the news.

He told the Leader: “We found out the news today and it has a lot of us concerned for the future. It left us devastated at the thought we could lose our jobs.”

The firm has announced a minimum 45-day consultation with employee representatives concerning a proposed plan to close all manufacturing operations at its Deeside site in the UK by the second half of 2020.

A Mondi spokesman said: “Mondi has implemented various strategic initiatives over the past two years to streamline operations and enhance the cost-competitiveness of both sites, however due to the change in demand for the niche products produced at these sites, Mondi sees no alternative than to start a consultation process on the potential closure.

“The proposal under consideration will impact around 200 employees. Mondi understands this is a particularly challenging time for employees and their families and is committed to treating people fairly throughout the process. Employees will be given support during the consultation and implementation of the ultimately agreed proposal, and Mondi will follow all legal procedures in accordance with UK labour law.”

They added that that Mondi remains fully committed to flexible plastics packaging and will continue to serve its UK customers from its wide network of production facilities across Europe.

Labour MP for Alyn & Deeside, Mark Tami, has raised concerns over the proposed job losses at packaging producer Mondi on the Deeside Industrial Park.

Mr Tami said: “I will be raising this issue when I meet with the Welsh Government’s Economy Minister, Ken Skates, when I meet him later this month. In the meantime, I call on Mondi to avoid taking decisions which will affect their committed and hard-working employees.

“My office will of course be ready to assist anyone who is affected by this and I will continue to stand up for jobs in our area.”