80 more jobs to go as Swindon printing firm shuts
ABOUT 80 more jobs are set to go in Swindon with the closure of a media printers that produces covers and booklets for CDs and DVDs.
The 75 to 80 staff at AGI Shorewood, based at Kembrey Park Industrial Estate, have received letters from the firm detailing the redundancy package and giving notice of the intent to close by the end of February.
The factory operation, which formerly ran under the name AGI World, is thought to have started to supply the record firm EMI when it had a presence in Swindon.
In recent years it has made the booklets and covers for CDs by the likes of boyband JLS, and pop divas Rihanna and Leona Lewis.
The firm also prints commercial literature.
One employee, who has been involved with the firm for 15 years, said the move would hit about 50 production workers and about 25 admin workers.
And he said he feared that they would not be able to get another job in printing as it was a dying industry.
He said: “People are pretty stunned. With the print industry they’re not going to go back into print.
“A lot of the younger people there, they have young families, I think they’re going to find it quite hard to get back into work.
“Certainly with this industry, I think it’s going to be quite a tough time for them. HMV are gone, Blockbusters are gone.
“We weren’t actually one of their suppliers but being involved in the music and DVD industry it shows the state of the trade really because they were our market.”
The man, who did not want to be named, said before Christmas the firm announced a 30-day public consultation on proposals to close the factory.
That finished this week after being extended due to the snow.
He said he was shocked when the closure was announced as he thought the factory would stay in operation until the unit lease ends in 2015.
He said the firm had another factory, in Slough, in Berkshire, which focused on printing specialist packaging, such as display boxes for DVDs in shops. And he understood that was staying open as it was generating more income.
He said: “Year-on-year sales revenue has been reduced just because fewer people are calling on print.
“It’s just been a dwindling market. And Slough do a lot of the packaging, which is still a profitable area.”
Jim D’Avila, the regional co-ordinating officer for the union Unite, said: “I think it shows how serious the state of the economy is.
“There was news about the Government’s borrowing and that could be threatening the triple A status.
“It just seems since Honda announced that bombshell of 800 jobs going, job losses seem to be in a freefall in Swindon. We’re seeing jobs every day going to the wall, including at the council.”
The company were not available for comment at the time of going to press.