Following the announcement this week of large scale redundancies at Timet UK’s manufacturing facility in Waunarlwydd, Swansea , Unite Wales is warning that far worse may be on the way. Unite has tens of thousands of members in hundreds of manufacturing companies across Wales and intelligence from many of these is that the outlook is very bleak.
Speaking today Peter Hughes Unite Wales Regional Secretary commented;
“Our Unite officers and reps are in talks every day with Welsh manufacturing companies and the signs are not good at all. At present the Job Retention scheme is keeping many thousands of Welsh workers in jobs and of course we welcome that. However, we should not be lulled into a false sense of security, Timet’s redundancy announcement this week is potentially the start of a redundancy tidal wave that will hit Welsh manufacturing over the coming months.
Unite is doing everything it can to hold this wave back. As the JRS scheme inevitably winds down our message to employers is, take the long view and don’t make rash decisions. Clearly the Governments at both Cardiff Bay and Westminster are desperate to do all that they can to prevent job losses. Employers should take every advantage of all the levers that have put at their disposal in these unprecedented times and show workers the loyalty that they have been shown by their employees in the good times. This crisis will end and the economic outlook will improve, Welsh manufacturing must hold its nerve and be in the optimal position to ramp up production when the crisis is over”.
Steve Turner, Unite Assistant General Secretary for Manufacturing said;
“Manufacturing matters today more than ever, to the Welsh and regional economies as well as to a nation struggling with a ‘new normal’ and the need to develop a new economy to recover and rebuild from a crisis unprecedented in modern history. To succeed in this challenge we have to pull together, working collaboratively from Westminster to Cardiff, Edinburgh to Belfast, providing security to our people and confidence to industry. Now is not the time to pack up shop, throw loyal workers aside or retreat from the battlefield, but to roll up our sleeves and determine what sort of society we want to be”.
“A new ‘National Council for Recovery’ must be established with unions and industry working with political leaders from across nations and regions to plan our recovery – to invest in jobs and skills, young people and a fairer, more resilient and greener economy. To work with industry to bring home our supply chains, utilise spare manufacturing capacity, design and build the products needed to meet the challenges of the climate emergency; from tidal turbines to electric vehicles, heat pumps to home energy storage facilities, carbon capture technologies to hydrogen production and use. We can do this, we have the capabilities and capacity to shape our future, we need to ensure its matched with the political will”.