Reports that Honda is set to close its factory in Swindon with the potential loss of 3,500 jobs would be ‘a shattering body blow at the heart of UK manufacturing’, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 18 February).

Unite said that ‘the chickens were coming home to roost big-time because of the Brexit uncertainty caused by the chaotic Tory government’.

Unite is seeking urgent meetings with the Honda management for clarification and called for business secretary Greg Clark to make a statement on the situation.

Unite national officer for the automotive sector Des Quinn said: “If these reports are confirmed, this would be a shattering body blow at the heart of UK manufacturing.

“The car industry in the UK over the last two decades has been the jewel in the crown for the manufacturing sector – and now it has been brought low by the chaotic Brexit uncertainty created by the rigid approach adopted by prime minister Theresa May.

“We are seeking urgent clarification from Honda on the implications of these serious reports.

“The 3,500-strong workforce do skilled, well paid jobs that the UK can ill-afford to lose.

“We will be doing everything we can in the coming days and weeks to support our members at this grave time for them, their families and the UK economy. This will also affect thousands of jobs in the extensive supply chain across the country. This would be the single biggest automotive closure since Rover in 2005.

“Business secretary Greg Clark needs to make an urgent statement on what the government intends to do to rectify this dire situation, if the reports prove correct. It appears that the chickens are coming home to roost big-time because of Brexit uncertainty.

“If the government had advance warning of this dreadful news and did not alert the unions, this is an appalling and cavalier attitude by ministers.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.

Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: 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.