Jobs set to go as Panasonic looks to close Newport site

South Wales Argus: The Panasonic site in Duffryn The Panasonic site in Duffryn

PANASONIC is planning to close its Newport site with 53 workers facing redundancy, it announced yesterday.

In the latest blow for the city, Panasonic System Networks Company UK Ltd announced proposals to "cease all operations" at the Newport site with 53 of the 75 employees' jobs identified as being at risk.

The company, which has the site at Pencarn Way, Duffryn, said "the ongoing severe economic environment and resultant weak sales demands" were the reason behind the restructuring proposals.

Necessary operations would move to Cardiff with remaining operations being moved to sites in mainland Europe and Asia, it said.

Staff at the Newport site, which carries out engineering and provides technical and other support services for European sales, were told about the proposals yesterday morning (weds).

A 30-day formal consultation will now be held between the company and Unite trade union shop stewards and regional officer.

A social plan which will contain financial support, advice and outplacement assistance will be given to affected workers as part of the consultation.

The restructuring is proposed to be completed by March next year.

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Bryan Godsell said employees at the site were both "shocked and stunned" by the announcement.

He said: "Going forward, we will be working with the company constructively within the formal consultation process to ensure the best possible support and compensation for our members."

Newport West MP Paul Flynn said: "The company has had great service and loyalty from Newport for a long period. I shall be sending them a letter expressing my disappointment at this announcement."

Newport council leader Bob Bright said he was "extremely disappointed" to hear about the proposals.

He said: “We have worked closely with them over the last 18 months to explore every opportunity to maintain their presence in the city.

“We understand the challenges they face in the current economic climate and the competitive production costs in other countries. We are pleased that some of their high-end jobs will remain in south east Wales, but are none the less saddened that this important employer will no longer be based in Newport.

"We will do everything we can to support those affected during this difficult time.

“We will also continue to work with Panasonic to secure a new tenant for what is a prime business location just off the M4.”

PANASONIC has been at the Duffryn site since 1987. At its peak it employed more than 600 people.

But by March this year that number had been reduced to 251.

Then, it was announced a further 164 jobs were to be axed at the plant due to the production of telephone exchange systems being moved from the site to Vietnam.

Comments (7)

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10:55am Thu 1 Nov 12

Mr Angry says...

Of Course we are all in this together Mr Cameron aren't we !
Of Course we are all in this together Mr Cameron aren't we ! Mr Angry

1:38pm Thu 1 Nov 12

gatty says...

feel sorry for these people now they got to go to the DHSS and be talked to like crap by snotty nosed young girls and boys who think they know everything,good luck people and give has good has you get :(
feel sorry for these people now they got to go to the DHSS and be talked to like crap by snotty nosed young girls and boys who think they know everything,good luck people and give has good has you get :( gatty

2:09pm Thu 1 Nov 12

heresphil says...

How typically the Newport plant has to close while the Cardiff one remains open and presumably gains jobs. Is it ever the other way around?

Best wishes to all the displaced staff, I hope you all find decent jobs that your skills deserve.
How typically the Newport plant has to close while the Cardiff one remains open and presumably gains jobs. Is it ever the other way around? Best wishes to all the displaced staff, I hope you all find decent jobs that your skills deserve. heresphil

2:23pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Mr Angry says...

As far as Bob Evans is concerned the moment these workers leave the plant for the last time - regardless of how long they've worked there they become' lazy benefit scroungers' isnt that right Bob ?
As far as Bob Evans is concerned the moment these workers leave the plant for the last time - regardless of how long they've worked there they become' lazy benefit scroungers' isnt that right Bob ? Mr Angry

2:34pm Thu 1 Nov 12

dodo777 says...

What is this government up to?The whole country is in turmoil .Aplan B is in desperate need.
Wake up cameron and osborne your policies are making people ill.
What is this government up to?The whole country is in turmoil .Aplan B is in desperate need. Wake up cameron and osborne your policies are making people ill. dodo777

5:50pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Independentvoter says...

The leader of this council, Bob Bright is disappointed and our MP Mr Flynn is going to write a letter to Panasonic. Wow !!! we can safely say they are fighting your corner for you. Taxpayers money well spent there !!!
The leader of this council, Bob Bright is disappointed and our MP Mr Flynn is going to write a letter to Panasonic. Wow !!! we can safely say they are fighting your corner for you. Taxpayers money well spent there !!! Independentvoter

6:51pm Thu 1 Nov 12

chris227 says...

yes that is typical jobs cut at newport and transferred to cardiff must be taking the lead from the public sector.
yes that is typical jobs cut at newport and transferred to cardiff must be taking the lead from the public sector. chris227

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