Tag Archives: Paresh Patel

East Midlands aerospace industry at ‘five to midnight’ as government stays silent on support

Unite, the East Midlands’ leading union, is warning that the region’s world-beating aerospace industry is at ‘five to midnight’, staring at the loss of thousands of highly skilled jobs and billions in economic contribution unless the sector receives urgent support from the government.

The union is appealing to the people of the region to get behind its campaign to keep jobs and incomes in the community.

Unite’s warning comes after aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies announced more than 350 job losses across the region, while Turbine Surface Technologies Ltd has announced more than 100 job losses. Meanwhile East Midlands employer Rolls Royce is planning to shed 3,000 jobs across the UK.

With a huge decline in new orders and maintenance work – a knock-on effect from the pandemic hit to the aviation sector – many more jobs are at risk in the industry right across the region. More than 13,000 aerospace redundancies have already been announced in the UK.

Unite issued its jobs warning following the publication of a new report by economic experts Acuity Analysis, which details the challenges facing the East Midlands and the entire UK aerospace sector. The analysis profiles the importance of the sector to the region’s economy and reveals:

  • The East Midlands region is heavily reliant on the aerospace sector, with 25,900 workers being employed in the sector.
  • There are 130 employers in the region split between 45 manufacturing companies and 85 companies specialising in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft.
  • Major aerospace employers in the region include BAE, Rolls Royce, Bombardier and Leonardo.
  • The sector is incredibly valuable for the region generating more than £1 billion in gross value added per annum.
  • The greatest number of aerospace employers is in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

According to Unite, which has been battling for sector support since March, large-scale job losses would have a crippling effect on both the East Midlands’ and the nation’s economies: 5,000 aerospace jobs lost would see more than £2 billion wiped off the UK’s economic output.

Unite has been pressing the UK government to follow the lead of competitor nations such as France and Germany to establish an investment programme for the sector to survive, rebuild and recover. A central call from the union is for the government to extend the jobs retention scheme to prevent the premature loss of more jobs and skills while the sector works to build back.

Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands, Paresh Patel, said: “Aerospace is absolutely crucial to the East Midlands’ 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.

“Jobs are going by the day and our world-leading status is slipping away as other nations sense the competitive advantage in our government’s inaction.

“Without the support this sector is crying out for we will lose thousands of the highly skilled, secure jobs that we are told the UK needs and that the government wishes to encourage.

“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.

“We are pleading with the government. Waste no more time.  Be clear that the JRS will 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 East Midlands but be the shot in the arm the national economy desperately needs.”

Unite is urging everyone who is employed directly in the aerospace industry or indirectly associated with it to contact their MP and ask them to lobby the government for support for the sector.

Paresh Patel added: “If you work in the East Midlands aerospace sector or know someone who does, then please help us save this flagship industry and keep our communities in work. Pick up the phone to your MP or drop them an email. Only by speaking up together can we win the future our workers absolutely deserve.”

Leicester virus spike needs everyone to play their part to protect public health and prevent job losses

The union is also urging central government to assist with additional resources for the health and public services across the region, and for the furlough programme to continue at the full rate to prevent employers in the area laying workers off as they face an inevitable further delay in re-opening the economy.

Commenting, Unite’s regional secretary for the East Midlands, Paresh Patel, said: “This spike in coronavirus cases across the city is extremely worrying.  Everyone needs to now play their part in getting this under control as rapidly as possible with localised lockdowns as necessary.

“There will be some factors causing this spike, such as over-crowded housing and the inequalities we know make Leicester’s BAEM community especially vulnerable to this deadly virus.

“But combatting coronavirus is a national duty as well as a local one so I urge the government to step up and help with whatever additional funding is needed to ensure that the NHS has the resources that it needs, and to assist employers through what will inevitably be an extended period of economic inactivity.  

“Everything that can be done must be done to protect the public’s health and to avoid layoffs and even more damage to an already badly damaged regional economy.

“Working people need to be able to stay home and isolate in order to get this virus under control but they can only do that if they know that they will have an income.  It is vital that then that the furlough scheme is extended as a matter of urgency but also where workers not on furlough are forced home sick that they get statutory sick pay from day one and on a rate that supports decent living.

“I urge the government at Westminster to learn the lessons from Leicester.  We are not out of this crisis and our communities and economies are extremely fragile.  You have promised to do `whatever it takes’ to support people during these frightening times, so now is your chance to show the people of Leicester that you keep your promises.”

Employer signs groundbreaking agreement with Unite to promote more tolerant workplace

Unite, the UK and Ireland’s leading union, and Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) has today (Tuesday 16 June) signed a ground-breaking agreement committing to working together to promote a more tolerant and inclusive place of work, with race equality at its heart.

NCHA becomes the first employer to sign up to Unite’s Unity over Division charter, launched by the union as part of its campaign to tackle racism and the far right in its members’ workplaces and within communities.

The timing of the signing comes as the world has looked on horrified by the death of George Floyd in the US, with mass protests, demands for justice and real change in society dominating our news.

Black and ethnic minority people are talking openly about their experiences of racism and discrimination. It is hoped that other employers across the UK will follow NCHA and support the charter in order to start to make all our workplaces safe, dignified and respectful places to work, for all.

Paresh Patel, regional secretary of Unite East Midlands said: “We welcome the signing of the first ever Unity over Division Charter by a major employer within the East Midlands. This charter forms a solid basis to ensure that race equality remains at the heart of our industrial agenda and our work to stamp out racism.  I am immensely proud that both Unite and NCHA are together, leading the way to strive for inclusivity and race equality proactively by signing up to the principals contained within this charter.

 “I hope that the signing of this charter will shine out as a beacon for other employers to follow suit.” 

 Holly Dagnall, NCHA Director of Homes and Wellbeing commented: “We welcome this proactive approach to promoting a more inclusive place of work. 

 “As Chair of NCHA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Panel, I am continuously looking for opportunities not only to support and improve our work to have a more equal and fairer workplace at NCHA, but to actively challenge racism and intolerance in all its forms in our communities. 

 “I respect and support the work of Unite to challenge racial discrimination and intolerance.”

 Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary who leads the union’s anti-racism campaign work said: “This ground-breaking Unity over Division charter shows when employers and trade unions work together real change can be made.  I want to congratulate Nottingham Community Housing Association, our representatives and officers involved in this initiative.

“We know that racism and discrimination have no place in our workplaces. But too often the comments and actions of some, often in the guise of ‘banter’, cause hurt and upset to others. By committing to the charter, Unite and NCHA will challenge this culture head on in our joint efforts to bring about positive change a journey to make all our workplaces safe, dignified and respectful places to work for all, black or white.”