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Cable plant axes 224 jobs

UP to 224 jobs will be axed with the closure of a Helsby manufacturing plant.

UP to 224 jobs will be axed with the closure of a Helsby manufacturing plant.

Workers at Brand-Rex were told operations at the factory would cease in March, following a review of the company's capabilities.

Brand-Rex, a major supplier of cabling systems, also announced redundancies at its sites in Leigh and Glenrothes adding another 58 job cuts to the list.

All work and production will now be transferred to Glenrothes, which will become the firm's sole manufacturing facility in the UK.

Bosses at the Brand-Rex said a severe decline in the global telecoms market was behind the move.

A downturn in worldwide IT markets over the last 12 months also added to expectations of a weak market in 2002.

John Chapman, managing director, said: 'We deeply regret the necessity of the announcement of these redundancies and the impact it will have on the individuals themselves and the local communities.

'Wherever possible we will seek alternative employment for those affected by the closure and we will be working closely over the coming weeks with trade union officials.

'The move is directly related to the well-publicised collapse in the telecom sector and the more recent slowdown in IT.

'After facing a very difficult market situation throughout 2001 we expect the markets we serve to continue to be challenging for 2002.

'It is vital that we reduce out manufacturing capacity in IT and telecoms products in line with market demand to ensure the future success of Brand-Rex.

'Brand-Rex is not alone in facing these severe market conditions and the need for significant capacity reductions.

'We will be working closely with our customers to ensure that we continue to fully support them.'

But many workers have been left shocked and angered by the decision.

One, who did not wish to be identified, blasted: 'The entire workforce has been labouring hard to save the site and now we feel as if we have been sold down the river.

'We were confident that Helsby would survive and the decision has come as a massive shock to us all.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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