On 18 October, Texon factory, owned by the Coats Group, announced its initiation of a redundancy consultation with a view of closing the factory in Skelton, Cleveland and relocating all operations to Indonesia.

Following this news, textile workers both past and present will be marching in solidarity in East Cleveland on Friday, 17 November, over the threat of Texon factory closure which they claim will jeopardise 80 jobs.

Workers union in the UK and Ireland, Unite believes that employees in Indonesia will be paid £3,000 a year on average, whereas Unite claims its members are paid £30,000 on average.

Unite claims that Coats has already cancelled the long-term lease on the factory building and has instead agreed to a one-year lease from 25 October 2023 to 25 October 2024. This, Unite explains, is to allow them to close down the factory and remove all machinery.

In fact, Unite believes this to be a “pre-meditated” decision to close even though it said that the collective redundancy consultation has not yet concluded.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a profitable factory that has been a pillar of the community in Skelton for half a century. This threat of closure is solely because of corporate greed. Unite will stand shoulder to shoulder with our members in their fight for their jobs against this closure.”

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Unite regional officer Fazia Hussein-Brown added that any closure would have a “devastating” effect on the local economy as well as the lives of its members.

Texon factory has been operating in Cleveland for over half a century, making insoles for sportswear brands like NIKE and adidas, remarks Unite.

A Coats spokesperson exclusively told Just Style that the collective consultation on the potential closure of its Texon facility at Skelton began last month and that process remains ongoing.

They added: “Texon has a long history in Skelton and we do not underestimate the effect of this proposal on our colleagues, their families and the wider community. Whilst no decision has been taken, we are committed to supporting our employees as best we can through what we appreciate is a difficult period. Regular consultations and meetings are ongoing and have happened with Unite the Union, Redcar & Cleveland Council, Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Department of Work and Pensions.”

Nike and Adidas did not respond to Just Style’s request for a comment at the time of going to press.