NIA Griffith MP and Lee Waters AM met last Friday (16th Nov) with a Schaeffler workforce representative from Unite the Union to discuss a way forward for workers at the Bynea plant.
This follows the announcement that Schaeffler intends to close its factory in Llanelli within two years.
With the 45 day consultation period on this proposal underway, Llanelli’s MP and AM have been working with Schaeffler, the local workforce and the UK and Welsh Government to find a way to keep the plant open and support the over 200 employees who face losing their jobs.
Gareth Jones, a Unite official who represents workers in Llanelli, is working together with Ms Griffith and Mr Waters to look for a solution to preserve jobs and production at the Schaeffler plant.
He said: “Our members are extremely disappointed with this announcement.
“The company seems adamant that it will close the site. However, we will utilise all of the consultation period to explore other options. The European Works Council meets next week and we are annoyed that the company has refused to allow Unite’s National Officer to attend that meeting.
“We will continue to liaise with local politicians to ensure that Schaeffler acknowledges its responsibility to its employees and their communities.”
Nia Griffith MP added “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 then 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.”
Llanelli’s Assembly Member, Lee Waters, said “It’s clear that Schaeffler haven’t considered the depth of opposition to their proposed closure in Llanelli. Whilst the management seem determined to press ahead with their plans, we’re going to work with any interested parties to come up with an alternative that keeps production in Llanelli.
“We’ve agreed with the Unions that we need to find a way forward that protects jobs and keeps production in Llanelli. None of us want to give up on the future of the plant.
“Nia and I have been working with the Government in London and Cardiff to urge them to take action, and our colleagues in the council have been working locally to do the same. This is a team effort to keep the jobs in the local economy and support the workforce at the plant.”