Luxury car maker Aston Martin is being urged to provide cast iron guarantees that its factory at Gaydon in Warwickshire will remain the centre for the UK and world-wide manufacturing and production of its top of the range sports cars.
Unite which represents the workforce at the factory, made its demand for the company to provide such commitments following growing rumours that Aston Martin could be preparing to transfer body shell production and paint operations to its factory in St Athans, South Wales.
If the work was transferred from Gaydon, Unite fears that it would tear the heart out of sports car manufacturing at Gaydon, result in large-scale job losses and threaten the long-term viability of the factory.
In June, Aston Martin announced that it was making 500 workers redundant at Gaydon out of a workforce of 2,300. While Unite has managed to alleviate the job losses to date, if work is transferred from the factory, a far higher number of redundancies are likely to result .
Unite regional officer Tim Parker said, “Unite’s members at Gaydon have been left fearing for their jobs as rumours swirl that much of the work they undertake could be transferred to St Athans.
“Unite is demanding cast iron guarantees that Gaydon will remain the principal manufacturing centre for Aston Martin’s sports cars.
“In the run up to Christmas the continuing rumours about Aston Martin’s plans are particularly unsettling for the company’s loyal workforce,” he added.
“Unite understands the challenges that Aston Martin is currently facing and is committed to working with the company to preserve work at Gaydon.”
Any changes to production will not just result in further massive job losses at Gaydon but will also affect the supply chain, much of which is in the surrounding area.
The Gaydon factory is the focus of Aston Martin’s world class range of sports car manufacturing operations, while the St Athans factory builds the company’s Sports Utility Vehicle (DBX).
By Barckley Sumner