Unite concerned about aerospace jobs

Workers union Unite warned that the North West is in danger of losing thousands of high-skilled jobs as the aerospace sector struggles through the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 13,000 jobs have been lost across the UK in recent weeks. These include Rolls-Royce and Safran Nacelles in Lancashire, as well as yesterday's news that Airbus will make 1,435 redundancies from its Broughton site.

The union estimates that 22,400 North West workers are employed by 260 companies operating in the aerospace sector, which is worth £1.7bn annually to the region.

Ross Quinn, Unite regional officer for aerospace in the North West, said: "Aerospace is absolutely crucial to the North West’s economy but the lack of action at Westminster means we now stand at five to midnight and could be looking at a very bleak future.

"It is a travesty that the government has not followed the lead of other countries including France and Germany to provide specific support for what is a world class industry. Worse still, the UK government's silence on support gives our competitors a business advantage.

"Employers must also hold their nerve, take advantage of the JRS as long as possible, whilst all alternatives to the job losses are explored. We are pleading with the government. Waste no more time."

We now stand at five to midnight and could be looking at a very bleak future.

He added: "Let’s be clear that the JRS must be extended for the sector to preserve skills and jobs, and bring forward a package of support for the aerospace sector which would not only preserve jobs in the North West but be the shot in the arm the national economy desperately needs."

The call for government support follows on from a similar message broadcast by the local chambers of commerce in May.