Unite the union, which represents the workforce at luxury car make Bentley, has described the announcement today (Friday 5 June) that the company is seeking to make 1,000 workers redundant as another ‘heavy blow’.
Bentley currently employs 4,200 workers at its factory in Crewe, Cheshire. The proposed 1,000 redundancies, which will be on a voluntary basis, account for just under 25 per cent of the workforce.
Unite’s national officer for the automotive sector Steve Bush said: “This is another heavy blow for our automotive industry and its dedicated workforce.
“Bentley is a name known around the world for the quality of its vehicles, thanks in large part to the expertise of this highly dedicated and superb workforce.
“To ask 1,000 of them to leave the company, albeit on voluntary terms, is heartbreaking for the workforce and their communities. We are determined to support our members during this process to do what we can to mitigate the jobs lost.
“Unite will ensure that all our members are properly advised and supported throughout this highly stressful and traumatic time.
“Today’s news is another sorry reminder of the battering this sector is taking, caught by a downturn in global demand which has then been supercharged by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is absolutely essential that the government works with the automotive industry and Unite to bring forward the sort of sector specific support we are seeing other governments deliver, in France and Germany, because for every automotive job that goes, four more will go in the wider supply chain.”
Unite’s convenor at Bentley, Stuart Davis added: “Our members have shown their commitment to the brand over many years and this should not go unrecognised. 2020 should have been Bentley’s best ever year but sadly it will now be remembered for all the wrong reasons.”