Commentating following the announcement today (Friday 11 September) that Yeovil-based helicopter maker Leonardo is planning to make 150 staff redundant, Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt said:

Reduce job losses

“Unite is in consultation with the company regarding the proposed job losses.

 “Unite will be working with our shop stewards to support members at this difficult time and will actively explore ways to reduce the number of proposed redundancies.

"This is yet another reminder of the dire state of affairs in this industry, not helped by the fact that in only a few weeks, the jobs retention assistance ends altogether.

 “What the aerospace industry desperately needs is for MPs across the south west, including Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh, to lobby government and to show the same commitment to protecting manufacturing jobs that has been seen by governments across Europe.

“We urgently require the government to wake up to reality of the damage in confidence and the impact on jobs, skills and the economy that their blanket ending of the jobs retention scheme at the end of October is causing.

“When trade unions, employer federations, the CBI and the Treasury Select Committee dominated by Conservative MPs all agree on the need for continued targeted support then you know the prime minister and his cabinet must listen and act.

“What we need is longer-term, sector specific support including short-time working along the line of the measures that have been put in place in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland and The Netherlands. 

 “If the government fails to act we will see the UK fall behind as a world-leading aerospace nation, damaging our wider manufacturing base, risking more jobs in the future, and hampering an economic recovery.”

It is understood that the 150 job losses are mainly management and back office staff.

SOS 4 Jobs 

This week Unite launched the SOS 4 Jobs Campaign, to fight for the survival of manufacturing jobs in the south west and across the UK. Unite is leading the call for a proper industrial strategy that will support manufacturing jobs in the UK, with a key message of: Build local, Buy UK and support our jobs and communities.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

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.