More than 60 Radius Aerospace job losses in Shrewsbury, the first of which could occur on the day furlough ends, are a ‘hammer blow’ for staff, Unite said today (August 19).
Radius Aerospace, which manufactures aircraft parts, has announced plans to shut its ‘precision’ operations at its Whitchurch Road site and move production to the company’s Bramah site in Sheffield.
The plans would see more than a third of jobs go at Whitchurch Road, where Unite has more than 150 members.
It is understood that the plans are directly linked to a collapse in orders of Rolls Royce Trent engine parts because of the pandemic.
The union said it would be exploring options to keep Radius’ precision operations in Shrewsbury during consultation with the business.
Unite reiterated its call for government to protect the aerospace supply chain and aid its post Covid recovery by adapting the furlough scheme for short time working.
Unite regional coordinating officer Andy Taylor said, “These planned job losses are a hammer blow to Radius Aerospace’s Shrewsbury staff.
“Unite will be fighting for every one of these jobs and exploring all avenues to prevent this work being moved to Sheffield.
“Once vital skills like those possessed by Radius’ workforce go, they never come back, which is why it so important that the business considers every alternative,” he added.
“We ask Radius to work with us to keep these operations in Shrewsbury and prevent any compulsory redundancies.”
Unite national officer for aerospace Rhys McCarthy commented, “If these plans go ahead the first redundancies will be made on the day that furlough ends – a date that no doubt will see many other aerospace jobs go.
“So much has been done to protect vital jobs like these, yet the government now seems content to let them fall off a cliff on 30 September,” he added. “This doesn’t make economic sense, particularly given how successful UK aerospace has been and how much it has contributed to the UK economy.
“Industries like aerospace and aviation have been hardest hit by the pandemic and the government’s ongoing travel restrictions – they need continuing help recovering from the aftermath,” McCarthy continued.
“It is crucial that furlough is adapted at the end of September for short time working and other measures to prevent needless job losses in sectors such as aerospace that need more time to recover.”
By Ryan Fletcher