CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES spent a day working alongside constituents at one of North East Wales’ key employers as part of a trade union initiative.
Mr Skates was among a number of Labour politicians taking part in Unite’s ‘Walk a Day in our Shoes’ campaign, which matches AMs with fellow union members to give them a valuable insight into what their constituents do on a daily basis.
The Wrexham-born AM was paired with a team of three led by Unite rep Tony Clarke at Kronospan, the wood panel manufacturer in Chirk, on Thursday, September 19. The plant, founded in 1970, employs more than 600 people – 90% of whom live within 10 miles.
Mr Skates said: “It was fascinating to learn about the manufacturing processes at Kronospan, which is a major local employer and plays a key role in our region’s economy. What struck me in particular was just how important and rigorous health and safety is in that kind of environment.
“It was a very enlightening experience and I’m extremely grateful to Unite for the opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the initiative, working alongside my constituents and fellow Unite workers and seeing the type of job they do day to day.”
A Unite spokesman said: “Walk a Day in our Shoes offers Assembly Members a chance to experience first-hand the jobs of their constituents. This enables the Unite members involved to directly demonstrate to their representatives both their daily lives and the issues that are important to them, their colleagues and families.
“The initiative seeks to go beyond a brief workplace visit that politicians often do and to ensure the AMs spend time to get a real feel for the work being done and a snapshot of the life of a fellow Unite member and constituent.”