Linamar to Close Swansea Factory

7th July 2010

208 Swansea workers and their families face the dole as the Canadian car parts company announced today the closure of the Swansea plant by the end of this year. The Company had told the union that they would come to the talks with option A - confirmed product sourcing and a future or option B - a closure. Within minutes, it was clear that the only negotiations would be over the redundancy terms.

Linamar took over the plant from Visteon in July 2008. Visteon was the company created by Ford in 2000 from its component plants. The other 3 plants went into administration last year. Despite most of the Swansea workers being on terms & conditions and pensions 'mirrored' to that of Ford, Linamar assured the workforce that they had secured new engine work from Ford, most of which would be supplied to their engine plant in Bridgend. This would replace their existing power take off transmission units (PTUs). As Unite convenor Rob Williams said, "They have kept their word on all the bad news like the PTUs but have reneged on all their positive promises like the new work and our contracts. Many of us would have lost  £600 per month!" Linamar workers believe that its now clear that Linamar were only interested in securing the work from Ford that will now go to their German plant.

Ford have received financial assistance from government agencies. They should be forced to insist that Linamar make the engine work in Swansea. The union in Swansea plant will be meeting the workforce over the next few days ahead of a mass meeting on Monday evening to discuss fighting the closure.

Alec Thraves
Swansea Socialist Party
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