Labour Research April 2002


More engineering jobs to go

Specialist engineering group Smiths has announced a further 1,450 jobs losses - 1,200 of them in the UK - on top of 1,600 job losses across all divisions in the first half of its financial year. The group says the economic slowdown means more jobs must go.

Smiths has between 50 and 60 sites in the UK, and finance director Alan Thomson said the cuts would be spread broadly.

Union leaders are vowing to fight the cuts. They have attacked the company for giving no warning and say they'll oppose any compulsory redundancies. Sir Ken Jackson, joint general secretary of Amicus, said: "We will be talking with the company to see if any of those workers facing redundancy can be transferred to the military side and we will be pushing for any job losses to be voluntary."

Meanwhile the Brook Crompton engine business in West Yorkshire has closed with the loss of 450 jobs. Singapore-based owner Lindeteves-Jacoberg has now decided to switch production to Poland and India.

The T&G general union says the move yet again highlights the inadequacies of job protection in the UK. Peter Booth, the union's national organiser for manufacturing, said: "Disregard for the workforce and local community again highlights the need for more robust information and consultation rights where companies are seeking to close UK operations."