519 careers at hazard as GKN Automotive announces closure of Birmingham plant

Engineering agency GKN Automotive is to shut a plant in Birmingham, putting 519 employment at threat.

Team at the plant, in Chester Highway, Erdington, have been provided the devastating news these days.

GKN, one particular of the UK’s oldest engineering corporations, was offered to investment firm Melrose Industries in 2018 for £8.1 billion.

A letter from GKN Automotive CEO Liam Butterworth, noticed by Birmingham Are living, states: “GKN Automotive has taken the challenging final decision to suggest the closure of our assembly web-site at Chester Street, Birmingham.

“Regrettably, an significantly competitive worldwide sector usually means that the website is no more time viable. This is in spite of substantial effort and hard work and expenditure around the earlier 10 years to cut down the site’s significant operating prices and make it aggressive.

“Supporting our individuals is our to start with priority as we check with on this proposal. Staff members at the web page are remaining notified currently and assist is becoming designed available to them through this procedure. We will then begin a period of consultation with the union and staff representatives in the coming months.

“We hope this proposal to impression 519 employees. The proposal envisages that GKN Automotive will very carefully wind down the web site over 18 months to assure an orderly and secure transition of operations and give individuals impacted time to come across new operate. The proposal is to transfer generation to other sites in our community.”

He stated the announcement would not have an affect on other GKN Automotive services in the British isles, like a site in Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, offices in Birmingham, London and Uxbridge and an innovative engineering centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

The 2018 takeover was controversial, with area Labour MP Jack Dromey (Lab Erdington) and trade union Unite contacting on the Federal government to block it.

Mr Dromey explained right now: “Inspite of all the warm text by Melrose in 2018 to shield the foreseeable future prosperity of GKN and its British workforce, the cold fact a few a long time on is that one of GKN’s greatest vegetation now faces closure. Melrose promised a shiny future to GKN’s staff – a guarantee they have now broken.

“This announcement is completely surprising by workers at GKN. Performing collectively with their trade union, Unite, I will be looking for an urgent conference with the firm.

“Govt Minister’s also have a duty to act just after promises they made at the time of the hostile takeover. The then Prime Minister, Theresa May, promised me on the flooring of the Property of Commons that the Government would always act in the United kingdom countrywide fascination. We now encounter the potential of British staff seeing their positions move overseas to one particular of GKN’s lots of continental vegetation.

“If this Authorities usually means what is says when it aims to level up our state, this should start below and now with an urgent option being observed to maintain the plant open.”

A spokesperson from GKN Automotive stated: “Proposing this closure is a tricky selection which has been designed even with significant hard work and expenditure in excess of the earlier 10 many years to lessen the large functioning expenditures at the Birmingham assembly website.

“Regrettably, an ever more competitive international sector signifies that the web site is no extended viable. Supporting our individuals is our precedence as we consult on our proposals.”

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