Posted: Tue 30th Jun 2020

Updated: Tue 30th Jun

‘Utterly devastating’ Economy Minister Ken Skates reacts to news Airbus plans to reduce UK workforce by 1,700

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Airbus has announced it is looking to shed 1700 jobs in the UK, the planemaker has said 15,000 will go globally as the company deals with the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic.  

In a statement this evening Airbus said it is to “adapt its global workforce and resize its commercial aircraft activity in response to the COVID-19 crisis.”

“This adaptation is expected to result in a reduction of around 15,000 positions [globally] no later than summer 2021.”

It’s unknown at this stage how many jobs will be affected at the firms Broughton site.

The UK job losses will be split between its Flintshire site and Filton in Bristol.

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said:

“This news is utterly devastating. Tonight there will be a huge number of workers at Airbus extremely worried by this announcement – my thoughts are with them and their families.

As a Welsh Government we will stand shoulder to shoulder with the company, its workforce, the unions and the communities impacted by this – and I will be setting out more detail of the Welsh Government’s response tomorrow.

“Nobody should be under any illusion about the impact Covid is having on aerospace, a critical part of the Welsh economy.

The sector is in crisis and the UK Government needs to take swift and decisive action now to save the industry and its supply chain.

The alarm bells have been sounding for weeks and we need urgent steps at a UK level to prevent this crisis becoming even worse.”

Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant has said the news from Airbus “is incredibly devastating.”

“We all have friends and family working at Airbus.

This community stands with them now more than ever.

I have been telling the UK Government for weeks that they need to support this sector.

They must now act to support everyone who works at Airbus.

Doing nothing while people lose their jobs is not good enough.

The Conservative Government are failing our community and I will not shy away from saying this.

I expect every politician in north east Wales and the north west of England, whatever party they represent, to support my calls for immediate financial support for this company and the businesses in their supply chains.

I have already spoken to Unions, Airbus and Welsh Government Ministers and will continue speaking up for our community. ”

Unite Wales – which represents many workers at the site –  has warned the move could have a huge impact at Airbus at Broughton, in a statement the union said:

Airbus is one of Wales key anchor companies and is central to the future prosperity of the Welsh economy.”

“Any significant loss of jobs at Broughton would further accelerate job losses in the aerospace sector in Wales.

The past week has already seen job losses at both Magellan Aerospace and MIC.”

Peter Hughes, Unite Wales Regional Secretary said:

“The significance of large scale job losses at Airbus would have a devastating impact on the aerospace sector in Wales and on the wider Welsh economy.

Unite has been calling for the UK Government to put a plan of support in place for the Aerospace sector for months.

This support has been provided by France and Germany, will the UK Government now step up to the plate and do everything required to support UK aviation jobs?

We are calling upon Airbus to hold their nerve and step back from implementing their plan.

Everything must be done to engage with Government to see if the necessary support can be provided to delay this decision until this crisis abates.

Certainly further extension of the furlough scheme to the aerospace sector would be a medium term solution whilst it rebuilds and recovers.

Unite will not accept any proposal that involves compulsory redundancy for our members.

The workforce at Broughton is world class, and have shown time and again how they are able to adapt and evolve their working practices to maintain the sites position as a central cog in Airbus European operations.

Unite is open to working constructively with Airbus to look at all options available in order to maintain the maximum number of jobs at Broughton.

Everyone in Wales recognises how important Airbus can be to the economic recovery of Wales post-Covid19.

If the UK Government does not step in now to ensure the support is there for Airbus to get through this crisis, the consequences for Wales could be catastrophic”.

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