Burberry South Wales factory to close and 300 jobs to go despite high-profile protests

Burberry’s factory in South Wales is set to close next Friday (30 March) with the loss of 300 jobs despite a vigorous campaign by GMB union and a host of politicians and high-profile celebrities.

The union’s crusade was backed by local member of the Welsh Assembly Leighton Andrews, MP Chris Bryant, actor Ioan Gruffudd, singer Sir Tom Jones, and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

In September 2006, the luxury retailer announced plans to close its Rhondda factory at the end of the year and move production overseas.

Mervyn Burnett, GMB senior organiser said: “Discussions will continue in to setting up a new venture to hopefully replace the job losses in the Rhondda Valley. The task group will continue to explore every avenue to preserve jobs. We will hope to call in the promises of Burberry to place orders in a new clothing factory on the site and we will also look to Harrods for orders to make this a going concern.”

The union has organised a protest march to coincide with the factory’s closure.

Burnett said: “GMB wish to thank everybody who came to the aid of the Burberry workers in their hour of need, our members leave this work place with their heads held high.”

Burberry has pledged to donate £1.5m to the local area over the next 10 years.

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