Unite, the UK’s largest union, is calling on the government to fully enforce new European Union regulations which will improve safety by placing import duties on inferior quality tyres being imported from China.

Unite has been increasingly alarmed that low cost inferior quality tyres have been flooding the market from China and other Asian countries. The tyres are of an inferior quality to those produced in the UK.

Safety concerns 

Due to the poorer quality of these tyres there are significant safety concerns associated with them as they have a much shorter road life and are more likely to ‘blowout’.

There are also concerns that if no action is taken against the cheap imports it could lead to job losses among UK based tyre manufacturers, who are unable to compete on price.

Under the provisional regulations published this month by the European Union, inferior quality tyres made in China for use on buses and lorries will be subject to anti-dumping duties of between 29 per cent and 68 per cent.

There will now be a six month consultation period to decide if the new duties are correct and Unite will be lobbying the government to ensure that not only are the new regulations fully implemented in the UK immediately, they continue after the country leaves the EU next year. 

First step for safer tyres

Unite national officer for rubber, Tony Devlin said:“This is an important first step forward in our battle to ensure tyre safety on our roads and to preserve tyre jobs. 

“The regulations currently only apply to tyres for lorries and buses and we believe that it should apply to all imported tyres. They should also apply to all inferior quality tyres and not just those from China. Safety concerns should never be comprised on the grounds of price.

“It is imperative that the government fully implements these new regulations and ensures that they remain in place after the UK leaves the European Union next year.

“Any failure by the government not to fully support these regulations would be a complete betrayal of all UK road users and UK tyre workers.”


For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

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.