The threat to 95 jobs at Calsonic Kansei in Llanelli is yet another sign that the automotive industry has been badly affected by the lack of a UK-wide manufacturing strategy, Unite said today (April 17).
Unite said that the announcement by the Japanese car parts firm, which employs more than 400 people at the Carmarthenshire plant, was ‘grim news’ for the workers and their families, as well as the local economy.
“This is grim news for the workers and their families. We will be seeking an urgent meeting with management to discuss the business rationale for these cuts during the consultation period,” said Unite regional officer Paul Evans.
“As recently as December, the company was offered a £4.4m grant by the Welsh government in order to create 88 jobs. We are going to question what today’s announcement means for this grant.
“Unite will be doing everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies for our members.
“The company blames ‘market instability’ which, we believe, is also compounded by Brexit uncertainty.
“The situation has not been helped by the lack of a coherent UK-wide manufacturing strategy by the Westminster government at this difficult time for the automotive sector and British industry generally. The Tory government has abjectly failed to deliver a joined-up blueprint for manufacturing,” he added.
“We have a situation where it is much easier for companies to cut jobs and close factories than in competitor countries, such as France and Germany. The reality is that UK industry is fighting for a vibrant future with one arm tied behind its back.”
It is believed that the majority of the cuts will be production jobs. The firm produces parts such as radiators and oil coolers for global car companies including Toyota and Nissan.