Responding to the announcement that workers at the GKN Chester Road plant have voted to accept a negotiated redundancy package, Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, said:
“What cannot now be allowed to happen is for the plant and the 519 strong workforce to be thrown on the scrapheap. This plant is a site of British manufacturing excellence with a world-class manufacturing capability. The skill and experience of the workforce is irreplaceable and the envy of many in the industry.
“It is utterly shameful that GKN/Melrose have chosen to close the plant and turn their back on this loyal workforce. The loss of 519 good, well-paid jobs in an area of high deprivation – the fifth most deprived constituency in the country – will be a hammer blow.
“The closure of the plant by GKN/Melrose is a betrayal of the British national interest. Never again can our manufacturing base be left so exposed to the greed and short-termism of private equity-style firms who have no interest in the long-term strategic interests of the British automotive industry.
“After 70 years, production will be exported to Poland and France. And to add insult to injury, during the weeks of COP 26, GKN-made parts for British cars will now travel on supply chains hundreds of miles longer and from countries still reliant on coal for their energy.
“While the company have chosen to walk away, I firmly believe that the Chester Road site can have a bright future through an alternative use being found. I will continue to work closely with the workers’ union, Unite, the Government, the Mayor of the West Midlands and the Leader of Birmingham City Council to explore this option. The workers can be assured of my unrelenting support to leave no stone unturned to keep production going and protect manufacturing in the West Midlands.”