With thousands of skilled jobs losses across manufacturing yet to feed through to official data, Unite warned government ministers against crowing too loudly about the latest jobs figures out today (January 22).
Pointing to recent announcements by carmakers such as Jaguar Land Rover, the closure of the shipyard at Appledore, in addition to job losses at Cooper Tires and Michelin, Unite said a slew of redundancies in manufacturing across the economy risked eroding the backbone of the UK economy.
Commenting on the latest labour market figures, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said, “Government ministers would be wise not to crow too loudly about the latest jobs figures. From cars to tyre making, shipbuilding to printing and general engineering, there is growing uncertainty and concern for the desperately needed investment that sustains skilled jobs, research and development and infrastructure.
“In recent months we have seen thousands of redundancies announced in manufacturing, its supply chain and logistics operations, which are yet to feed through to official figures,” he added.
“These are decent, skilled jobs which form the backbone of our economy and sustain families and communities across the UK. The danger is that the haemorrhaging of these jobs continues apace in the months ahead as the government fails to protect and support UK Plc through these troubling economic conditions and Brexit-induced uncertainty.
“Ministers need to turbo charge a failing UK industrial strategy to support UK Plc and end the Brexit uncertainty to avoid snuffing out the light of opportunity on investment and good well paid jobs,” Turner went on to say.
“The alternative is that UK manufacturing is eroded and we race ever faster to becoming a low wage service centred economy based on precarious, low paid work and zero hours, short hours jobs.”
The latest jobs figures come as a landmark report from the Resolution Foundation analysing a decade of employment trends found that the so-called ‘jobs boom’ in the UK has come at the expensive of quality jobs — with insecurity and low pay becoming a reality for growing numbers of people.