Speeches recovered from the Conservative party’s online archive More…

Cairns: More bad news for the Welsh economy

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I express my sympathy for those who work for Christie Tyler, not because they have lost their jobs—I hope that it never gets to that point—but because of the uncertainty that they face.

The key question that comes to mind is the state of the pension fund. Can you give us details on any potential deficit in that fund?

If there is a deficit, what are the consequences for the staff, because if the worst situation arises and staff are laid off, there are bound to be pension fund implications?

I hope that not all staff will be laid off, but job losses are highly likely and even if that does not affect everyone, there will be some losses.

I look forward to seeing the receivers at the earliest opportunity and I hope that your officials have had a chance to talk to them about the key issue of pension funds.

This, again, is a body blow to Bridgend in particular, having lost over 1,000 jobs last week; I highlight the fact that 650 were lost at Sony and 173 at Wrigley's.

However, last week when 650 jobs were lost at Sony, we failed to recognise that Sony made widespread use of agency workers, with up to 250 people from Manpower, as well as security and lorry driver contractors, used on that basis.

Therefore, that number is much closer to 1,000 than 650. The risk of these jobs going as well is clearly a body blow. The scale of the job losses in Bridgend compares to the job losses in south-east Wales, within Newport and Ebbw Vale, at the time of the Corus job losses.

Earlier, during questions to the First Minister, we heard John Griffiths praise the work of Newport Unlimited. What are your plans to treat all parts of Wales equally?

We notice that the attention that was given to south-east Wales was not given to south-west Wales when it faced similar job losses a few years ago.

I hope that Bridgend and the surrounding communities will have the same sort of attention as south-east Wales had.

I am rather worried that in comparing Christie Tyler with Orange Box, the Minister said that the company needs to look for niche markets. Let us not forget that Christie Tyler's strategy is aimed at the mass market.

The Orange Box strategy is aimed at the niche market. You cannot move from a mass market to a niche market without losing jobs. It is quite obvious that you cannot do that, so I ask the Minister reconsider his statement in that respect.

Similarly, with regard to the comments on the Baltic states and their low wage costs, it is a factor, but if there was an economic environment that encouraged manufacturers to invest in capital to make them far more productive and efficient, that would outweigh the labour costs elsewhere. That environment has not been created.

I do not want to repeat last week's argument and I take no pleasure in the fact that, as the weeks go by, my argument seems to be resonating even more.

We are in an environment in which manufacturing is in meltdown. Until this Minister recognises that the policies that he is pursuing, and those that the Westminster Government is pursuing, are not working, what hope do we have of introducing policies that will be able to help manufacturers to operate much more effectively and prevent such large-scale job losses?"

"Mynegaf fy nghydymdeimlad â'r rhai sy'n gweithio i Christie Tyler, nid am eu bod wedi colli eu swyddi—gobeithiaf na ddaw hi byth i hynny—ond oherwydd yr ansicrwydd y maent yn ei wynebu.

Y cwestiwn allweddol a ddaw i'r meddwl yw cyflwr y gronfa bensiwn. A allwch roi manylion inni am unrhyw ddiffyg posibl yn y gronfa honno? Os oes diffyg, beth yw'r canlyniadau i'r staff, oherwydd os cyfyd y sefyllfa waethaf a bod staff yn cael eu diswyddo, mae'n siwr y bydd goblygiadau i'r gronfa bensiwn?

Gobeithiaf na fydd y staff i gyd yn cael eu diswyddo, ond mae colledion swyddi yn debygol iawn a hyd yn oed os na fydd hynny'n effeithio ar bawb, fe geir rhai colledion.

Edrychaf ymlaen at weld y derbynwyr ar y cyfle cyntaf posibl a gobeithiaf fod eich swyddogion wedi cael cyfle i siarad â hwy am faterion allweddol cronfeydd pensiwn.

Mae hyn, eto, yn ergyd drom i Ben-y-bont ar Ogwr yn arbennig, ar ôl colli dros 1,000 o swyddi yr wythnos diwethaf. Tanlinellaf y ffaith fod 650 o swyddi wedi cael eu colli yn Sony a 173 yn Wrigley's. Fodd bynnag, yr wythnos diwethaf, pan gollwyd 650 o swyddi yn Sony, ni sylweddolasom bod Sony wedi defnyddio llawer iawn ar weithwyr asiantaeth, gyda hyd at 250 o bobl o Manpower, yn ogystal â chontractwyr diogelwch a gyrwyr loriau, wedi eu defnyddio ar yr un sail.

Felly, mae'r nifer yn llawer nes at 1,000 na 650. Mae'r perygl y collir y swyddi hyn yn amlwg yn ergyd drom. Mae graddfa'r colli swyddi ym Mhen-y-bont ar Ogwr yn cymharu â'r swyddi a gollwyd yn ne-ddwyrain Cymru, yng Nghasnewydd a Glynebwy, pan gollwyd swyddi Corus.

Yn gynharach, yn ystod cwestiynau i Brif Weinidog Cymru, clywsom John Griffiths yn canmol gwaith Newport Unlimited. Pa gynlluniau sydd gennych i drin pob rhan o Gymru yn gyfartal?

Sylwyd gennym na chafodd y sylw a roddwyd i dde-ddwyrain Cymru ei roi i dde-orllewin Cymru pan oedd yn wynebu colli swyddi tebyg rai blynyddoedd yn ôl.

Gobeithio y caiff Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr a'i chyffiniau yr un math o sylw ag a roddwyd i dde-ddwyrain Cymru.

Yr wyf yn poeni braidd, wrth gymharu Christie Tyler ag Orange Box, bod y Gweinidog wedi dweud bod ar y cwmni angen chwilio am farchnadoedd arbenigol.

Dylid cofio bod strategaeth Christie Tyler wedi ei hanelu at y farchnad dorfol. Anelir strategaeth Orange Box at y farchnad arbenigol.

Ni allwch symud o farchnad dorfol at farchnad arbenigol heb golli swyddi. Mae'n eithaf amlwg na allwch wneud hynny, felly gofynnaf i'r Gweinidog ailystyried ei ddatganiad.

Felly hefyd, yng nghyswllt y sylwadau ar wledydd y Baltig a'u costau cyflog isel, ydyw mae'n ffactor, ond pe bai gennym amgylchedd economaidd a oedd yn annog gweithgynhyrchwyr i fuddsoddi mewn cyfalaf i'w gwneud yn llawer mwy cynhyrchiol ac effeithlon, byddai hynny'n troi'r fantol yn erbyn costau llafur gwledydd eraill.

Nid yw'r amgylchedd hwnnw wedi'i greu. Nid wyf am ailadrodd dadl yr wythnos diwethaf ac nid wyf ychwaith yn falch o'r ffaith bod fy nadl yn ennill mwy fyth o fomentwm wrth i'r wythnosau fynd heibio.

Yr ydym mewn sefyllfa lle mae gweithgynhyrchu yn dadfeilio. Hyd nes y bydd y Gweinidog hwn yn cydnabod nad yw'r polisïau a weithredir ganddo, a'r rhai a weithredir gan Lywodraeth San Steffan, yn gweithio, pa obaith sydd gennym o helpu gweithgynhyrchwyr i fod yn fwy effeithiol ac o atal colledion swydd mor enfawr?"

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech