OFFICIALS have demanded urgent talks with the management of an electric firm amid fears of 150 job losses in St Asaph and the impact it will have on the city.

Shocked staff at Honeywell (MK Electric) were given the devastating blow – that their facility on Glascoed Road was set to close at the end of the year – last Thursday morning.

Unite Wales said they see “no business sense behind the decision” and they intend to “fight for every single job”.

Honeywell, which invents and manufactures commercial and consumer products, engineering services and aerospace systems, has launched a 45-day consultation period. It is believed 129 permanent jobs are under threat as well cleaners and agency staff jobs.

Cllr Colin Hardie, mayor of St Asaph, labelled the decision as “tragic”.

“They have been a major employer on this site for many decades so its closure not only takes away employment opportunities for local people but also affects smaller local businesses who have possibly relied on their custom over the years,” cllr Hardie said.

“I have spoken with a representative for the company and have been assured that they will do everything possible to help their employees in finding new employment.

“It is now really important that, not only are the employees assisted but also, that strenuous efforts are made by the county council to attract an alternative employer to take over this site and the City Council will do everything possible to help with this.”

Honeywell is proposing to transfer all activities from the St Asaph site due to a need to consolidate core manufacturing processes in fewer locations.

Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd, has been in touch with AM Ken Skates, minister for economy, and Ann Jones, AM for the Vale of Clwyd.

He said: “I appreciate this is a very worrying time for all the employees at Honeywell.

“They were good, reliable jobs in the heart of the Vale of Clwyd.

“Many jobs today are zero hour contracts where people can’t plan their future - their holidays, when even to pick their kids up.

“I am working closely with Ann Jones AM and been in touch with Welsh Government, Honeywell and union representatives regarding the issue to see what can be done to best support the staff in this situation.”

Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary, echoed the feeling that Honeywell’s intentions to close its St Asaph site was a “huge blow” the the workforce and the wider economy of North Wales.

“This decision has come completely out of the blue, with no prior consultation or discussion with Unite and the workforce,” Mr Hughes said.

“Honeywell employees who went to work last Thursday thinking they had a secure job and income for their families, have today had their futures thrown into complete disarray.

“From what limited information Honeywell has provided us with we see absolutely no business sense behind this decision. We will be using the upcoming consultation period to forensically question the company’s plans and will be working closely with our members to put forward alternative proposals to reverse this decision. Our objective is to work towards a viable future for the site and to fight for every single job at St Asaph.”

Ann Jones, AM for Vale of Clwyd, said: “This is devastating news for the workers, their families and the economy of the wider region. I have arranged meetings with representatives of the workforce and I am in discussions with government ministers. I will also speak to management.”

Minister for Economy and Transport AM Ken Skates said: “I am extremely disappointed by Honeywell’s proposal to close their St Asaph site and my thoughts are with the workforce and their families at this very difficult time.

“We are in contact with the company and seeking an urgent meeting with the Honeywell management team.

“We will work with the local authority and all key players to coordinate our efforts to ensure affected employees are offered every possible assistance and our ReAct programme provides a comprehensive package of support to individuals who are affected by redundancy and stands ready and available.”

A spokesperson for Honeywell said “We realise this affects valued employees and we are committed to open communication throughout the consultation period.”

The company said they had “nothing more to add” prior to the Journal going to press.