225 jobs lost as Alberto Culver factory in Swansea closes
HUNDREDS of workers at the Alberto Culver factory are today looking for new jobs after being told it is to close.
The 225 workers at the Swansea Enterprise Park business were told yesterday morning that consumer giant Unilever would be pressing ahead with plans to restructure its UK business first announced in June.
A further 25 jobs will be going at the distribution centre in Bridgend, which serves the Swansea factory.
Engineering technician at the Swansea factory, Robert McFenton, said: "It has come to a shock to some people, but not many workers.
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"My mind has been on the factory closing, the three-month period has given the chance for people to come to terms with it.
"In fairness to Unilever, they have kept us fully informed. Workers can hold their heads high, the factory is still profitable, it is still a high performing factory."
As well as the closures in Swansea and Bridgend by the end of 2013, the factory in Ewloe in Flintshire will also be closed, along with a site in Slough.
But around 200 jobs will be created at the company's Port Sunlight site in the Wirral.
Swansea East MP Sian James said she felt deeply sorry for those who had lost their jobs.
"This has nothing to do with the global economic recession," she said. "There is no rationale behind this move other than a move to maximise profits," said Mrs James.
Her views were echoed by AM Mike Hedges.
He said: "I'm deeply disappointed with today's announcement that Unilever plan to plough ahead with the closure.
"I've already met with officials from Unilever to discuss these damaging proposals and to push forward the strong case for continuing business at their Swansea factory.
"However it's clear that the company is determined to go ahead with the move despite the opposition."
Alberto Culver was purchased by Unilever, which is responsible for well-known brands such as Domestos, Lynx, Marmite, Persil and Pot Noodle, in May 2011.
Amanda Sourry, chairwoman of Unilever UK and Ireland, said: "Following an extensive review, we have decided to move forward with proposals outlined in June.
"We understand that many of our employees will be anxious at this time. That's why we are today pledging a good package of support for employees who are adversely affected."
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