Protest over tissue factory closure threat

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Unite union officer Daryl Williams says questions remain over the jobs decision

About 150 people have protested over plans to shut a tissue paper factory – with the loss of 94 jobs..

Northwood Hygiene Products announced in May plans to close the site at Penygroes, near Caernarfon in Gwynedd.

The company has blamed a drop in demand from key buyers during the coronavirus pandemic and will be focusing manufacturing at other factories in England.

The Unite union said the decision was “premature” and should be “delayed”.

Clive Roberts, who has worked at the Welsh plant as an engineer for 30 years, said he “had not given up” on the factory’s future.

“We cannot afford to lose this place,” he said.

“My daughter is studying history at university – and I don’t want this place to become part of history.”

Daryl Williams, the regional officer the union Unite, said they had held a second consultation meeting with the company on Thursday and “still have as many questions as answers” over the proposals.

“I do think we are far from convinced by the business case to close this site,” he added.

“There has to be a legacy for this company in this community that has jobs in the longer term.”

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Local people joined workers in the protest

Making the announcement on the future of the plant on 26 May, Northwood Hygiene Products said “the subsequent significant fall in current and forecasted sales volumes has led to this very difficult decision”.

Production will continue at its other sites in Telford, Oldham, Birmingham, Lancaster and Bromsgrove.

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