Tetra Pak’s proposal to stop production at the Wrexham site has come as a severe blow not only to the workforce but also to the wider community in Wrexham.
The planned cessation of production during these austere times is shameful, and shows a complete lack of respect for the loyal and hard working workforce at the Wrexham site.
While the packaging industry might be suffering a difficult period, much like most other industries at the moment, Tetra Pak have seen a year on year rise in sales to a whopping £8.16bn in the last year! Added to that, the reasons given for stopping production was that the export market which Wrexham was dependant on was to be serviced by the new plants in Russia and the Middle East, but Tetra Pak themselves have admitted that the worst performing market was Eastern Europe with a 12% fall. The Russian plant will therefore also service an export market. The truth is that this is part of a planned exercise by Tetra Pak to keeping its costs down, which will be achieved by cheaper labour elsewhere.
As Tetra Pak aims to increase its profits again this year they will be putting loyal workers in Wrexham on the scrap-heap fighting for jobs during one of the hardest economic periods the country has seen. This is a terrible way to treat hard working people and their dependant families. It is this workforce that has worked doggedly over the last 30 years to pump massive profits into Tetra Pak and allow it to grow.
To rub salt into the wounds Tetra Pak founder (now retired) Hans Rausing, is an UK resident with an estimated personal wealth of £4bn , but has never paid a penny of tax in the UK. Much like the Conservatives very own Lord Ashcroft, Mr Rausing is a Non-Dom! This tax could have been spent on strengthening the economy and helping people find work. Instead he has decided to keep it all and spend it on frivolities.
The Tetra Pak workforce at Wrexham deserve better. I have written to their UK and Ireland Manager asking if they are insistent on stopping production at the Wrexham plant that they would at least consider postponing the cessation of production until the UK has seen consistent period of growth, allowing better work prospects for the workers. I’m not holding my breath!
Mabon ap Gwynfor