independent news and information website for the towns and villages which lie alongside the River Dee in north Wales, from Connah's Quay to the border with Chester.

Deeside towbar firms consultation process with job threatened staff is a ‘sham’ says union

Trade Unions officials representing workers at Deeside based Witter Towbars have expressed ‘alarm’ that the firms management is reluctant to receive assistance from the Welsh government in order to save jobs.

The company is currently consulting on closing its manufacturing base at Deeside and offshoring the work to Romania, with the loss of 94 jobs.

Representatives from Unite the union joined Ken Skates the Welsh government’s cabinet minister for economy and infrastructure at a meeting in Deeside yesterday.

During the meeting Mr Skates made the offer for the Welsh government to provide business consultants free of charge to the company, to investigate cost savings to help preserve jobs.

Mr Skates also repeated the Welsh government’s offer to initiate the ReAct programme, which helps workers facing redundancy gain new skills and encourages employers to hire redundant workers.

The company refused to commit to either offer and the decision will be made by the parent company Horizon Global Board which is due to meet this afternoon.

The company’s hesitation to accept the Welsh government’s exercise has increased Unite’s fears that the company’s 90 day consultation is a sham exercise and the company is determined to offshore the work.

Unite, also believes that the decision to outsource the production of the towbars which are fitted onto Jaguar Land Rover products is perverse as a brand new £30 million manufacturing and research institute, is being built virtually on the company’s doorstep.

Unite regional officer Jo Goodchild said:

“There is a growing concern that the company is simply going through the motions and the decision to offshore the work has already been made.

“It is deeply worrying that the company did not immediately accept the offers of assistance being made by the Welsh government. Unite has put forward proposals to avoid job losses but these have not even been considered.

“Our members at Witter have the skills, knowledge and loyalty to the company which will not be replicated at any other European plant if the jobs are offshored.”