Pilkington Glass has announced it will halt production at its St Helens glass factory resulting in the loss of 140 jobs.
Pilkington Glass management has confirmed that glass manufacturing the St Helens, Cowley Hill factory will cease due to making significant financial losses.
However, manufacturing will continue at Pilkington’s Greengate factory, also in the St Helens area.
Glass has been made in St Helens since 1826 and Pilkington Glass received a £5m government grant in 2011 in order to modernise production and create 254 jobs in the area.
Pilkington has operations in 29 countries and employs 28,500 globally with 2,500 working in the UK.
The GMB union said the news of job cuts in St Helens was a “devastating blow” for the area and Unite has promised it will be “scrutinising the company’s proposals,” for those affected.
“These are skilled manufacturing jobs and we will be doing as much as possible to mitigate the impact on the workforce,” commented Tony Burke, Unite’s assistant general secretary.
Pilkington Glass was responsible for the invention of float glass production in 1952, a process which allows for the production of much larger sheets of glass than were previously attainable without distortion.
The technique is now a global industry standard.