January 18, 2007 12:24 ET

Amicus anger at proposed closure of DVD manufacturer, Technicolor in Cwmbran, Wales

WALES, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 18, 2007) - Amicus members at Technicolor in Cwmbran have reacted angrily to an unexpected closure announcement made Wednesday 17th January 2007 with a loss of 312 jobs.

Technicolor, formerly Nimbus Manufacturing, a member of the French based Thomson Technicolor Home Entertainments Services Group, has announced a global restructuring of its DVD replication, packaging and distribution business. In addition to the closures of Cwmbran and a plant in Luxembourg it is proposed to cease CD and DVD production in Illinois, North America and ultimately close its principal manufacturing packaging and distribution operations at Camarillo, California. Production from Cwmbran and Luxembourg will transfer to Piaseczno in Poland.

Technicolor blame a reduced growth rate for standard definition DVDs and ongoing customer demand for lower pricing but Amicus members are angry that despite cooperating with rationalisation proposals, apparently designed to consolidate their future, they are now facing closure.

Bryan Godsell, Regional Officer, said:

" We expected there to be an impact within the group following the loss of work in Poland. We approached the company for a meeting at European HQ level in December to discuss the impact of the loss of work from Poland with the support of Lynne Neagle AM and Paul Murphy MP for Torfaen. Our requests were ignored. We now know why.

"Our members are shocked and feel betrayed by this announcement. They have reacted magnificently to the challenges of the last 2 years exceeding all Production and Quality targets set by the company.

"The Cwmbran facility recently won the Wales Manufacturing Quality Award sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government. A new confidence had developed in the company with a real expectancy of there being a long term future at Cwmbran. Those hopes have been dashed by what now appears to have been a cynical strategy to centralise work in Poland irrespective of the loyalty and commitment of the Welsh Workforce.

"Some employees have been with the company for 20 years. These are highly skilled well paid jobs. There will be a massive impact on the economy of South East Wales."
"This is yet another example of Profit before People."

During the last two years CD manufacturing transferred from Cwmbran to Poland in 2005 followed by the transfer of DVD volume from one particular publisher to Poland in 2006. Ironically the Technicolor plant in Poland lost the DVD work that transferred from Cwmbran resulting in a 20% reduction in European volume. Formal Consultation begins on Monday 22 January 2007.

Amicus is campaigning for the strengthening of UK labour laws. The manufacturing union says that weaker employment protection in the UK compared with the rest of Europe means that UK workers are more vulnerable to job cuts when multinationals want to make redundancies.

Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Office
    Catherine Bithell
    020 7 420 8909 or 07958 473 224