Unite, the largest union in the country, is calling for an urgent meeting with the management at the Koyo bearing plant in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, where up to 150 jobs are at risk.
Unite understands that the work will be transferred to one of the firm’s plants in Romania, following pressure from car makers who are demanding cheaper bearings for their vehicles.
Unite regional officer Richard Bedford said: “This is terrible news for the workers, their families and the South Yorkshire economy.
“We understand that Koyo, which is Japanese-owned, is under pressure from car makers seeking cheaper bearings, hence the plans to move the production to Romania.
“The nature of the automotive sector is that the car giants dictate the prices that the company sells its products to them and the consequence of that is the loss of jobs at the Barnsley plant.
“We want an urgent meeting with management to discuss the implications of the announcement that up to 150 employees could lose their jobs by December 2014.
“We want to discuss the financial health of the company and how any job losses can be mitigated. We will fight very hard, as a union, to ensure that as many jobs are retained in Barnsley as possible.
“These are highly skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs that Yorkshire and the UK can ill-afford to lose.”
If the plans go ahead, it will mean that half the production at the site could cease. It is expected that any job losses will hit all levels of staff, from the management down. The company employs about 360 workers.
For further information please contact Richard Bedford on 07980 710006 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.