Britain’s largest union, Unite accused Goodyear of conducting a ‘sham consultation’ which betrayed its loyal Wolverhampton workforce, as the company confirmed it was closing its mixing and re-treading facility in the city.
Unite commissioned independent analysts, Syndex UK to examine the business case for the closure and alternatives that Goodyear could have considered, but was met with a point blank refusal by management to release critical information.
Stonewalling by management over the business case for the closure led the union to believe that the decision was taken because it is easier to fire UK workers than their European counterparts.
The decision to end production in January 2017 comes, despite the plant having high levels of productivity and efficiency and will see the first redundancy notices handed out on New Year’s Eve this year.
Commenting Unite regional secretary for the West Midlands Gerard Coyne said: “The consultation with Goodyear over the closure of a highly productive and efficient plant has been nothing short of a sham.
“Management’s refusal to release key information and its stonewalling over the business case for the closure leads us to conclude that it was taken because UK workers are easier to fire than their European counterparts.
“Workers have worked hard to make the Wolverhampton factory a success and feel betrayed. Over the coming weeks Unite will be doing everything it can to support our members and ensure they aren’t left high and dry by Goodyear.
“We will also continue to press the government to live up to its rhetoric of ‘march of the makers’ by intervening and supporting UK manufacturing.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.