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Yesterday Wrexham.com was told of a site meeting at APPE, formerly known as Artenius PET Packaging Europe, where 49 permanent staff could be made redundant.

Today we spoke with APPE who confirmed the news that 18% of the 264 posts could be affected, noting that 2 of which are due to employee retirements that will not be replaced.

In a sadly familar pattern the economic downturn is being blamed, with APPE stating “The economic downturn is affecting the businesses of some of our customers, and their sales volumes have reduced.” Plus “Some of our customers have moved their production in to Europe, and so container manufacturing has moved to other European APPE sites which are closer”.

This reduction in demand has meant that the workload can now be done with three rather than five shift crews.

More positively APPE did say that the changes could also potentially result in 16 new posts being created.

Chris Brown, Business Unit Director, APPE U.K. & Ireland said “We are considering changing the shift patterns in the Containers area of our business to reflect the shift in demand. We are also proposing to make significant changes to the management structure and other areas of our business to ensure it is equipped to deal with the future challenges that our strategic plan has identified.

“The future of the Gresford plant is very much assured and these potential changes will be part of a successful and sustained future. We very much regret any redundancies that may occur as a result of the review but we need to ensure we have a strong and stable business from which to move¬†forward and secure the long-term future of the site. If the proposal for redundancies goes ahead, APPE U.K. will offer assistance to those employees affected both in terms of redundancy packages and securing alternative employment.

“This is a very difficult time for our employees who have shown great loyalty and commitment over the years. We will work closely with them and the trade union to ensure that this process is dealt with in a caring and sensitive manner”.