Trade Union to Fight Factory Closure

Battle 'for every job'

Union leaders say they willfight moves to close Bristol's last tobacco factory every step of the way.

Imperial Tobacco - which has its headquarters in the city - is planning to cut 260 jobs in the UK as part of a major restructuring in the wake of its acquisition of Spanish company Altadis.

It is proposing to close the cigar factory at Ashton, where classic and castella cigars are made, by September next year, with the loss of more than 80 jobs.

A further 29 jobs will go in the company's supply chain, while 25 jobs are expected to be created at the company's Bristol head- quarters.

Andy Worth, regional secretary for the GMB union, said: "Imperial Tobacco is an outstandingly successful business, thanks largely to the skills and commitment of its highly productive workforce.

"The projected savings of 400 million euros annually (as a result of the job cuts) look like a drop in the ocean in relation to the company's total costs, and compared to the misery and despair they will cause can hardly be justified.

"It is early days but we will be fighting for every job and there will be absolutely no acceptance of any compulsory redundancies."