Car workers unite to stop Melrose’s debt-fuelled GKN takeover
- Tuesday 6 March 2018
WHAT: Workers from Jaguar Land Rover join GKN workers to say ‘stop the GKN takeover’
WHERE: GKN Driveline Birmingham, Chester Road, Erdington, Birmingham B24 0QY
WHEN: Wednesday 7 March 2018, 12:30
Unite members from Jaguar Land Rover and other car makers will be joining GKN Driveline workers in a show of solidarity tomorrow (Wednesday 7 March) to unfurl a banner calling on Theresa May’s government to block Melrose’s debt-fuelled takeover bid of the British-based engineering firm.
Workers at GKN’s Driveline business along with their colleagues in the aerospace and defence business, are fearful that a takeover by Melrose could leave the government’s industrial strategy in tatters and see GKN being sold off piecemeal with jobs cut or shipped abroad.
Tomorrow’s show of solidarity follows today’s (Tuesday 6 March) House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee hearing into Melrose’s hostile bid to takeover GKN where Unite assistant general secretaries Steve Turner and Tony Burke gave evidence.
Unite is calling on the secretary of state for business Greg Clark to use his powers under the Enterprise Act (2002) to block Melrose’s bid in the public interest.
Under the act, the secretary of state can intervene on issues of national security. GKN is a major defence partner to Airbus and Boeing, and supplies and maintains UK defence equipment used by the Royal Air Force and the Army. In addition to the Typhoon fighter aircraft, GKN is also involved in the F-35 joint strike aircraft, as well as the Chinook and Black Hawk helicopter programmes.
Commenting Unite acting automotive national officer Carol Tallentire: “GKN’s Driveline business is at the heart of the UK automotive industry and a major employer in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
“At the cutting edge of electric vehicle technology and supplying major car makers, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota, GKN is essential to the government’s industrial strategy.
“In Melrose’s hands, all that would be put at risk and ministers’ plans for the UK to be a leader in electric vehicles could be left in tatters.
“GKN will be saddled with over £1.3 billion of debt if Melrose succeeds, while its advisors would pocket upwards of £140 million in fees. Workers are fearful that they will pay for this debt fuelled payday with their livelihoods with technology and jobs shipped abroad.
“Melrose’s debt-fuelled bid would not happen in France or Germany. Theresa May has said she will act in the national interest. It’s time she did and saved British jobs by ensuring her government stopped the GKN takeover.”
For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.