Loss of 600 Leeds engineering jobs underlines need for...

Loss of 600 Leeds engineering jobs underlines need for UK industrial strategy, says Unite

05 October 2016

The threat to 600 manufacturing jobs at OneSubsea, the Leeds oil and gas engineering firm, reinforces the need for a strong industrial strategy to protect such skilled jobs, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 5 October).

Unite said the news that the Houston-based multinational wanted to shed 600 of its 900-strong workforce by the end of 2017 had come ‘out of the blue’. The company makes large-scale infrastructure for the oil industry.

The union said that the company had blamed the downturn in the oil price which, in turn, had adversely impacted on oil exploration for the proposed job losses.

Unite, which has 300 production members at the firm, said that it had an initial meeting with management today and more meetings were scheduled for next week.

Unite regional officer Chris Daly said: “This is appalling news that came out of the blue. We knew that there was a downturn in the oil price, but we had no inkling about the scale of such job losses.

“This is a devastating blow for the workers and their families and, more widely, it will have an adverse effect on the Yorkshire economy – these are skilled jobs that we can’t afford to lose as a manufacturing nation.

“This sad news reinforces the case that the government’s much vaunted industrial strategy really needs to develop teeth quickly to protect such prized manufacturing jobs.

“Unite’s goal in the days and weeks ahead is to make the case to mitigate the job losses envisaged at OneSubcea and offer our members the maximum support at this difficult and worrying time.”

Unite understands that while manufacturing will cease at the end of 2017, 300 other staff will remain to provide office support.

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite regional officer Chris Daly on 07879 605902 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

  • 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.