The announcement by Northwood Hygiene that it will close its paper conversion factory in Penygroes, Gwynedd, is ‘premature’ and should be delayed, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 26 May).
Unite said Northwood’s decision to begin a redundancy consultation with the site’s 93 staff as early as next week was a ‘betrayal of a loyal and skilled workforce’.
The union, which represents over 40 members at the site, is calling on the firm to use the government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS) and other government support to wait and see how the economy recovers after lockdown before making any decisions over the factory’s future.
About 50 per cent of staff were furloughed under the JRS three weeks ago and Unite understands that the firm is now planning to register the remaining workforce with immediate effect.
Unite regional officer Daryl Williams said: “This proposal is a betrayal of a loyal and skilled workforce and if enacted will be a huge blow to the Nantlle Vale economy.
“Northwood’s plans to close the site are premature and need to be delayed until after the lockdown has ended and a clearer picture of the general economic situation emerges.
“The government’s Job Retention Scheme was designed to prevent unnecessary redundancies during this crisis and Northwood should wait before making any decisions relating to the site’s future.”