Unite the union vowed to fight for every job and called for guarantees of no compulsory redundancies after Melksham based Cooper Tires announced plans to shed up to 300 jobs.

Workers at the Melksham tyre maker in Wiltshire were informed of the plans at 15:00 in a mass meeting today (Wednesday 10 October).

Unite described the move to cut over a third of the workforce as a ‘hammer blow’ to the local economy which would reverberate across the West Country.

Cooper Tires is Melksham’s biggest employer with around 700 workers currently making tyres for cars, motorbikes and racing cars. It is understood that the 300 jobs earmarked for redundancy are in the car tyre side of business which has been hit by the dumping of cheap inferior tyres from countries such as China.

Unite regional officer Tony Hulbert, said: “These proposed job losses will be a ‘hammer blow’ for the Coopers workforce and the community, sending shockwaves through the local economy. Unite will be doing everything it can to support our members through this difficult time.

“In the coming days and weeks Unite will be scrutinising the business case for these proposed job cuts and fighting for every job to minimise the number of redundancies. Unite will also be pressing bosses for guarantees of no compulsory redundancies.”

Unite national officer Tony Devlin added: “These job losses should be a wake-up call to government ministers. Unite has repeatedly warned the government that the dumping of cheap inferior tyres from countries like China is not only bad for road safety, but bad for UK jobs and manufacturing. Workers at Coopers Tires now face paying the price for government inaction with their jobs.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors: 
• Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.