North East Wales

130 UPM Shotton paper mill jobs at risk

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Media captionDavid Ingham said he has explained UPM's plans to his staff

A paper manufacturer which employs 370 staff at Deeside has announced plans to cut 550 jobs across its European workforce.

UPM plans to close one of its two machines at its plant on Deeside Industrial Park, in a move which could affect 130 jobs.

The company has other factories in France, Finland and Germany.

UPM said it is planning to permanently reduce its paper production capacity by 800,000 tonnes across Europe.

UPM Shotton manufactures paper for daily and weekly newspapers with an annual capacity of 490,000 tonnes.

David Ingham, general manager at Deeside, said: "I am not able to comment on specific numbers of jobs under threat at Shotton at the moment because there is a consultation with employees.

"We only plan to close one paper machine and to ensure the other one is viable."

A company spokesperson said: "These are proposals that the company has put in place and will have to go to the union and whole workforce.

"There are different timescales because Finnish and French unions work in different ways. We can't give exact numbers at the moment. Staff are being informed today."

Carl Sargeant, Welsh government minister and AM for Alyn and Deeside, said: "It's a very devastating time for families and the workforce at the company. This comes completely out of the blue.

Leader of Flintshire council, Aaron Shotton, said: "We are extremely disappointed to hear the news of job losses at UPM and are very concerned about the impact on local people.

"We will work with the company as much as we can, offering support to mitigate the losses and help local people with the situation."

Image copyright Google
Image caption UPM Shotton manufactures standard newsprint on two mill machines

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