Plug pulled on UK Hoover manufacturing

Electrical goods company Hoover ended manufacturing at its only UK factory after 60 years of production.

Electrical goods company Hoover ended manufacturing at its only UK factory after 60 years of production.

More than 300 people punched their cards for the last time at the sprawling site in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, after the company made the decision to ship manufacturing abroad.

Washing machines and tumble dryers will now be made in Turkey and China after the company decided it was not cost-effective retain that part of the operation in the UK following a 90-day consultation.

After the news was announced last week, Hoover said it would try to keep its HQ functions, finished goods warehousing and logistics operation in Merthyr.

Of the 450 people employed at Hoover, 337 have lost their jobs.

In a statement issued last week, David Lunt, vice-president of human resources at Hoover, said: "We would like to thank all Merthyr manufacturing employees for their effort and commitment over so many years.

"We wish them luck and good health in retirement, or in seeking alternative employment."

Graham Smith, a regional officer for the Unite union, said the mood at the factory this morning was a mixture of "sadness" and "disappointment."

"I suppose there was also a bit of relief because the workers now know it is finished and they have got to do something," said Mr Smith.

"During the last few months the company wouldn't give a closure date and were going through the consultation period.

"They said they had looked at everything and nothing had worked."

He added: "It has been the major employer in Merthyr. In its heyday in 1960s and 70s it was bigger than the local authority and the local health service in terms of the number of people it employed.

"Even within the private manufacturing sector at the moment it was still the biggest employer in Merthyr. At the moment we don't seem to see any light at the end of the tunnel (for the economy).

"There are still job losses occurring and shorter working weeks. It all depends on whether the economy can start to pick up in the next couple of months."

The Welsh Assembly Government pledged to support workers who have lost their jobs.



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