Rehau confirms Amlwch plant closure

Geograph / Eric Jones

It’s been confirmed that a plastics factory in Amwlch will close by the end of the year.

104 jobs will be lost at Rehau’s plant on the town’s industrial estate – the German firm has blamed a big fall in demand for PVC.

Plans to close the factory – the biggest employer in Amlwch since it was opened in 1975 – were first announced in January.

But Rehau said alternative proposals put forward by staff would not be sufficient enough to secure the plant’s long-term future. Production is now expected to move to other sites across Europe.

Labour MP for Ynys Môn, Albert Owen, said he was disappointed with the decision to rubberstamp the closure: ”I have worked with the Welsh Government, local politicians and the North Wales Task Force since the consultation process began and led a cross party delegation to meet senior management in London.”

”We heard from the company some exciting alternatives that came from the company employees. I recently had a follow up meeting and raised the issue in the House of Commons with government ministers and felt the quality of alternative proposals were strong.”

But Mr Owen said the final decision was made by REHAU’s group executive board in mainland Europe, adding: ”I will continue to press the company to re-consider its decision and work with others to put the case for the excellent workforce…I will also join politicians and agencies in offering support to the dedicated workforce.”

The company had previously brought in new machinery and changed shift patterns to improve productivity and secure the future of the Amlwch plant.

Anglesey Council called on both the Welsh and UK Governments to take ”necessary, decisive action” to deliver new investment and job opportunities for Amlwch and the north of the island.

Council leader, Llinos Medi, said: ”This announcement, coupled with the recent Wylfa Newydd suspension places the immediate future for Amlwch and North Anglesey in an uncertain and fragile position.”

”This is a devastating blow for the loyal Rehau workforce, their families, the Amlwch community and surrounding areas. Rehau has been a good, and major, employer in the town for decades – and so our immediate concern will be for the future of those employees and the families directly impacted.”

”The Task Force set-up after possible closure was first announced will continue to make sure all available support for employees is co-ordinated effectively.”

A spokesperson for Rehau said: ”Careful consideration at board level of the proposed alternatives put forward by employees concluded that, regrettably, they would not be sufficient to secure the long-term future of the facility. Our attentions now turn to supporting our staff through this challenging period.”

The firm will also retain its factory in Blaenau Ffestiniog – but last month, it emerged cuts to staff’ bonus payments were made to try and make the facility more competitive.

Meanwhile, Anglesey Council said the future of the Amlwch site should be considered for potential future opportunities and warned it cannot remain vacant for long.

Councillor Carwyn Jones said: ”Rehau must now continue to engage fully with stakeholders and partners to try to cushion the blow for staff.”

”It is also vital that we receive a clear commitment from the UK Government that it wants to deliver the Wylfa Newydd project which will help mitigate and off-set these job losses.”

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