Plans by aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies to make 200 staff at a Leicester factory redundant and reduce the terms and conditions of the remaining workforce is ‘opportunism of the worst kind’, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 15 May).
SPS Technologies, where Unite has about 350 members, has announced plans to reduce its Barkby Road workforce from 480 to 280.
At the same time the firm is attempting to push through reductions to pay grades, sick pay, paid breaks, shift premiums and other terms and conditions for those who remain.
Unite is calling on the firm to register its staff – who have been working throughout the lockdown and will finish the current round of orders at the end of June – under the government’s job retention scheme until October and to scrap its attacks on terms and conditions.
Unite regional officer Lakhy Mahal said: “The government has put support in place to prevent Covid-19 redundancies and there is no reason why SPS cannot reverse this decision and register staff under the job retention scheme until October.
“SPS’ committed staff have continued to work throughout the lockdown to finish pre-existing orders and will continue to do so until the end of June. SPS’ thanks for their loyalty is to then throw them to the wolves, instead of accessing the support set up by the government to prevent exactly this kind of situation.
“Not content with needlessly abandoning nearly half its staff to joblessness in the middle of a pandemic, SPS is also trying to attack the terms and conditions of those who remain.
“The firm’s behaviour is opportunism of the worst kind and its actions will be fought by Unite every step of the way. At the very least, SPS needs to delay any decisions until the crisis has passed and register its workforce under the furlough scheme until October.”