Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has warned that the UK manufacturing sector is becoming ‘zombiefied’ as workers lose their jobs and business confidence and new investment disappears. This follows a devastating betrayal of the sector by government after years of Brexit uncertainty and ongoing failures to invest, intervene and act in defence of UK Plc.

The latest figures from IHS Markit/Cips show that the manufacturing sector contracted for the seventh successive month and that factory job losses are at their highest rate since September 2012.

Zombie economy 

Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “The latest figures are a stark reminder of the ongoing serious challenges facing the UK manufacturing sector.

 “Continuing Brexit uncertainty and the government’s refusal to rule out a catastrophic ’no deal’ Brexit from the European Union, alongside government failures to develop any form of industrial strategy is driving UK manufacturing off a cliff edge.

 “Once again it is workers, their families and working class communities paying the price of government failure with their jobs, wages and long term security as we drift closer towards a zombie economy.

 “The UK’s manufacturing sector is going to struggle until Brexit is resolved with a strong long term relationship with our largest trading partner, including a customs arrangement and frictionless, tariff free trade being guaranteed. 

 “Further, and beyond Brexit, any genuine government led industrial strategy must lead to direct investment, intervention and support for UK Plc that protects jobs, skills and communities alongside our regional and national economies.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.