PLAID CYMRU’S Mid and West Wales AM, Helen Mary Jones has said that the Welsh Labour Government have done too little too late for the flagging manufacturing industry in Wales on the day that 95 jobs at Llanelli’s Calsonic Kansei factory are at risk.
The AM who is on the candidate list to fight the Llanelli seat has called for Welsh government to stop crying ‘UK Government’ and Brexit and to get on with building a strategy for industry in Wales.
Speaking to Wales News Online today Wednesday (Apr 17) the AM said: “It is really worrying. We know it is a difficult time for the automotive industry. We really have to have a more pro active approach from Welsh Government. We need a proper long term pro active economic development for Llanelli and the wider area. We are not getting that we seem to be lurching from one crisis to another.”
The Welsh Government awarded a £4.4mil grant to Calsonic Kansei, which already employs more than 300 people at its Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, factory.
Concerns have been raised about Welsh Government grants to companies, particularly in the automotive sector such as Ford, TVR and Aston Martin. This is not the first time the Calsonic plant has had public sector support.
The Welsh Development Agency, helped the company establish its European Technology Centre at Llanelli. It had further support from the Welsh Government in 2000 to build a Wind Tunnel Test Facility there. The Unite union blame the UK government for failing to have a manufacturing strategy while some ministers blame the impact of Brexit for the move abroad of manufacturing companies who might have otherwise remained in Wales.
Responding to the news that car parts manufacturer Calsonic Kansei is set to cut 95 jobs at its Llanelli plant Helen Mary Jones AM is seeking answers from the Welsh Government over what can be done to protect workers.
Helen Mary Jones AM said:
“This is deeply troubling news for Llanelli and the wider area. I have asked the Welsh Government what it is doing to keep and protect jobs at the Calsonic Kansei Llanelli plant.
“Previously as a Llanelli AM, working with the workers, local management and the Welsh Government, I’ve been able to secure a brighter future for the factory. This was a period when Plaid Cymru was in government and Ieuan Wyn Jones was the Economic Development Minister.
“Sadly, this news goes to show that while Westminster politicians squabble with each other over Brexit, people in our communities are suffering. Job losses like this are the consequence of this Brexit shambles, and our town deserves better.
“This is the latest in a series of announcements about potential job losses in Llanelli. I’d like to see the Welsh Government working more closely with Carmarthenshire Council to see how they can improve the economy of Llanelli.
“Plaid Cymru is calling on the Welsh Government to take urgent action to protect jobs and offer any support it can.”
Helen Mary Jones has tabled a written question to the Welsh Government about discussions it has had with Calsonic Kansei since the announcement.
Watch the interview with Helen Mary Jones here.