Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru candidate for Clwyd South, has expressed his disappointment at Tetra Pak’s decision to stop production at the Wrexham site. He has also expressed his frustration that another multi-national company that was brought into Wales with public assistance a generation ago is letting down a community that played such an integral part in developing the brand and amassing their fortunes.
“This is terrible news for the families involved and for the area. This area has provided a loyal and hard-working workforce for Tetra Pak over the last 30 years. They have been integral in developing the brand, a brand that is now recognised world over, and helped create Tetra Pak a market leader. I’m extremely disappointed that the company have decided to move production elsewhere.
“The economy is still extremely fragile. The Tories and the Lib Dems have put all of their eggs in one basket, and are slashing essential public services in the vain hope that the private sector will fill the void. They seem to be unaware that there are whole industries in the private sector fighting to survive at the moment, and are in no position to increase their workforce.
“However this isn’t the case with Tetra Pak. Last year they announced a massive £8bn profit and still they cut-and-go. One would hope that they would repay the loyalty that Wrexham has shown them by maintaining production in Wrexham during this recession. Unfortunately it seems that loyalty to your workforce is a concept that belongs to another era.
“Large multi-national companies have been brought into Wales with various incentives only to leave again when they get better deals from other Governments. It’s time that we concentrated on developing home-grown businesses rooted in the community. We need to create the right environment to allow our businesses to gain a foot-hold and grow, instead of being choked at birth by large multi-national conglomarates.”
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Copy of Press Release sent out 1 October 2010:
Plaid Cymru Urge Tetra Pak to stick with Wrexham
Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru Assembly candidate for Clwyd South is urging Tetra Pak not to stop production at their Wrexham plant, claiming that while the industry might be suffering a down turn Tetra Pak is easily able to see this negative period through and be in a position of strength when the demand returns.
“Tetra Pak made a massive £8.16bn profit globally last year. They are market leaders in their field and can easily accommodate a couple of negative years” said Mabon ap Gwynfor. “Publicly they are saying that export accounts for half of Wrexham’s production but that their new developments in Russia and the Middle East means that this market will disappear. This is spurious justification for moving production abroad for cheap labour. The difficulty with this line is that the worst performing market for packaging has been Eastern Europe and the best is Asia, more especially China, therefore it is likely that both these new plants in Russia and the Middle East will be producing packaging for export as well. I am concerned therefore that businesses are using this current economic downturn as an excuse to move production to boost their profits even further at the expense of the workforce here.
“They have a skilled and dedicated workforce at Wrexham, and Wrexham has served the company well for over 30 years. They should stick with Wrexham, and reap the benefits when the downturn eases.”
Mabon ap Gwynfor added, “What makes me angry about this situation is the fact that Tetra Pak founder, Hans Rausing, is an UK resident, has over £4bn in his bank account (he’s the richest man in the UK) but pays no tax here, he’s a non-dom! He’s managed to avoid paying tens of millions of pounds in tax – money he has earned through the hard work of people like the staff at Wrexham, money that could now be put into securing production at the plant, or developing better work prospects for those about to be made redundant, but instead he chooses to spend his money on pampering himself and his family. It’s morally perverse, and disgusting. I’d like to see Mr Rausing come over to Wrexham in his Helicopter from his palace in Surrey and explain to the workforce why they are about to be made redundant after labouring for his billions.”