Following a meeting today between Plaid Cymru politicians and the management of Northwood, Penygroes, that closed suddenly 10 days ago, politicians stressed they will leave no stone unturned as they try to assist the company in tackling problems at the site.
The 94 employees received the news that Northwood was to close the site from immediate effect on 26 May, as they arrived to begin their shift. An employee consultation period has begun.
The management team explained that the impact of Covid-19 has had a detrimental effect on the company with the sudden closure of hotels, restaurants, catering businesses, stadiums and offices, their main customers, hitting them hard.
The company which sells professional hygiene and wipe products say they must put measures in place to stabilise the company, which employs 650 workers at a number of other sites in England also.
Plaid Cymru’s County Councillor for Penygroes, Judith Humphreys, said: “Following a number of attempts to meet, today the door opened so people could sit around the virtual table and begin to hear the details first hand.
“The loss of 94 jobs is a huge blow to staff and their families and is gravely disappointing after years of faithful and conscientious work for this company. For the wider community of Dyffryn Nantlle, this will have an impact on the local economy. We are working tirelessly to find a solution and support the local residents during this difficult time. I am grateful to my fellow Councillor Craig ab Iago, Llanllyfni for uniting in support of the workforce here in Dyffryn Nantlle.”
Present at the virtual meeting was the Councillor with responsibility for the economy in Gwynedd, Gareth Thomas.
“Discussions have begun and the Council's business experts are working hard to look at all possible models and options to support this company. Our priority will be to safeguard the workers skills here in Gwynedd, at a time when the economy is already vulnerable due to Covid-19.”
Sian Gwenllian, Member of the Senedd for Arfon and Arfon's MP in Westminster, Hywel Williams, were both part of the Plaid Cymru team at today's virtual meeting, said: “We made it abundantly clear that the overriding factor in these discussions is safeguarding staff jobs and livelihoods.
“All options to protect the site must be kept on the table, and the Welsh Government must redouble efforts to prioritise talks to find a solution.
“We are working constructively across all levels of local and national government to keep these jobs on site at Penygroes.
"The priority must be to retain the skilled workforce in Dyffryn Nantlle and secure the future of the manufacturing plant here in Gwynedd."