South West Wales

Dewhirst warehouse jobs under threat in Capel Hendre

More than 120 jobs are under threat in Carmarthenshire at a company storing clothes for High Street retailer Marks and Spencer.

Dewhirst has a warehouse unit in Capel Hendre, near Ammanford, where products made abroad are stored and checked before being sent to shops.

The company said a formal consultation with trade unions would start on 26 June over the 124 jobs.

M&S is planning to change the way it ships its garments to stores.

Local Plaid Cymru politicians have pledged to support the workers.

A Dewhirst spokesman said: "We have made an announcement to our employees that there is a prospect of potential redundancies because M&S is considering a proposed change to the way in which garments are shipped directly into its supply chain."

He added that formal consultation with trade unions would begin at the end of the month.

M&S plans to move to using four national distribution centres rather than a network of small logistic hubs.

The prospect of job losses in Capel Hendre worries local politicians.

'Early discussions'

Jonathan Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said: "I am very concerned by the news that over 120 employees face the prospect of redundancy in Capel Hendre.

"My office has spoken with a managing director at Dewhirst headquarters and I have been assured that redundancies are only a possibility at this stage and nothing has been confirmed.

"This will be little comfort to the employees in Capel Hendre, but I would like to assure the staff that my office is open to assist them in any way possible."

The constituency's AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said it was "extremely unfortunate" that hard workers in Capel Hendre were the target of M&S cost cutting measures.

An M&S spokesperson said: "We are in very early discussions with Dewhirst about its Ammanford warehouse and as such it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage."

The Capel Hendre site is Dewhirst's only warehouse in Wales. The firm once had a number of factories making clothes for M&S is Wales, but the last one closed 10 years ago.

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