Beatson Clark, Redfearn Glass: job cuts in prospect

Union officials struggling to save jobs at the Redfearn Glass and Beatson Clark container glass plants in Barnsley, northern England, admitted 25 August 2006 that prospects looked “bleak”.
Officials …

Union officials struggling to save jobs at the Redfearn Glass and Beatson Clark container glass plants in Barnsley, northern England, admitted 25 August 2006 that prospects looked “bleak”. Officials from the TGWU have been in talks with management at the two firms where around 250 jobs are under threat. Managers at Redfearn (formerly Rexam Glass Barnsley) and Beatson Clark blamed the move on high energy costs and increased competition following the opening of the giant Quinn Glass plant in Cheshire. Redfearn, which currently employs around 800 workers, intends to shut down one of the five furnaces at its Monk Bretton site with the loss of 120 jobs. A further 130 jobs are at risk with the proposed closure of the Beatson Clark plant in Stairfoot, Barnsley; all production would be switched to its nearby Rotherham site. Tas Sangha, from the TGWU, said: “We have had and will continue to have several discussions with management and workers at both companies”. “Obviously we want to maintain as many jobs as possible and where redundancies are unavoidable, to try to ensure people wanting to take redundancy are offered that option”. “We are aware that since the opening of the new plant in Cheshire that the glass container industry is suffering from over capacity”. “Combining that over capacity with increased fuel costs and greater competition, I have to say it is a bleak picture we are facing right now”. Barnsley“s glass making heritage is reflected in the town“s coat of arms, which includes a glass blower.