LEE Waters AM has welcomed the First Minister for Wales’ announcement that of a taskforce with Schaeffler to find a future for the Llanelli plant.
The announcement comes after the local AM Lee Waters met with the Welsh Economy Secretary last week to urge him to intervene with Schaeffler to find a future for the old INA Bearings factory and its workers. Since then Welsh Government officials have been working with the company to get an agreement on setting up a taskforce.
Carwyn Jones told the Senedd this afternoon that the company have now agreed to work with the Welsh Government on a taskforce to support the workforce and to explore finding a future for manufacturing on the site.
“What the support is aimed at doing is to help those who work there at the moment, and to see what beneficial uses for employment the site could be put to in the future” Carwyn Jones said in First Minister’s Questions.
“We have held discussions with Schaeffler and an offer of a two tier package to support the company has been accepted”.
The Government will hold a further meeting with the company in early December to explore all the possibilities for the future. Meanwhile a package of support will be available to the workforce if they choose to look for new opportunities or are affected by redundancies.
Lee Waters AM said “The management of Schaeffler has made it clear to me that the workforce in Llanelli is excellent and they have made the decision to close a result of other factors. With such long history in Llanelli, the company owes its workers more than simply abandoning the plant. So I’m pleased the company has agreed to work with Welsh Government to provide a future for manufacturing at the site and security for the workers affected by this announcement.”
“Schaeffler’s management must now engage constructively in the consultation process as we all work together to secure future employment at the site.”
Nia Griffith MP said ““We are all extremely concerned about the planned closure of the Schaeffler plant in Llanelli and the 200 plus local jobs that could go with it.
“After meeting Unite rep Gareth Jones on Friday morning, I had a conference call with Schaeffler’s UK managing director Greig Littlefair and Richard Harrington MP, a business minister in the UK Government. We again made the case to keep the plant open and asked the Managing Director if there is anything UK government can do to make them reverse their decision. We also raised concerns about jobs in the supply chain.
“Whilst it does seem that Schaeffler have made up their minds, we will be exploring every avenue to see if anything can be done to keep the factory open and help the workers at the plant.
Councillor Deryk Cundy added “We are looking for a way forward during the consultation period. We have to prepare for a number of different scenarios and support from the First Minister and Lee Waters AM in the National Assembly for Wales is most welcome as we move through the negotiations and look to secure the well-being of the workforce at Schaeffler”.