Serious questions need to be asked over why more than 500 jobs at the profitable Delphi Diesel Systems in Suffolk are under threat, Unite has said today (Tuesday June 20).
Last week, the engineering company in Sudbury announced it was entering into a consultation about the long-term future of the plant, which Unite believes, is the most profitable site in the UK of the American-owned conglomerate.
Unite said that predominantly rural Suffolk could not afford to lose these highly-skilled jobs which would be a hammer blow to the county’s economy.
Unite met the management yesterday (Monday June 19) where the business plan was asked for. The union will be having more meetings with the company in the days and weeks ahead.
“This news is a cruel blow to the dedicated workforce and the local economy – it is Sudbury’s biggest employer,” said Neal Evans, Unite regional officer.
“Our view is that poor business decisions were made and now we have over 500 jobs in jeopardy,” he added.
For example, work is being outsourced to Romania where, by the company’s own admission, it is struggling to complete the work already shipped out due to recruitment and retention issues.
“Serious questions need to be asked why this profitable site is now under threat and what the future holds for the company’s other sites in the UK. These questions need full answers,” said Neal.
“The site is competitive and we understand that it is making £1m a month in profit. We will be calling on the employer to think more strategically, make a strong commitment to Sudbury’s future and rescind this flawed plan,” he added.
The situation is an indictment of the government’s lack of a coherent manufacturing strategy geared to protecting employment and developing world-class industries.
“If we can’t protect our manufacturing base today, how will the British economy fare in tomorrow’s challenging post-Brexit world,” added Neal.
Delphi makes diesel fuel injectors and filters for commercial vehicles at the site.