Unite, the UK’s leading manufacturing union, has said that the announcement that 295 jobs are set to be lost at Airbus’ Filton workplace is yet another body blow to the entire South West economy - and is warning that the eventual jobs toll could be much higher.

Blow to Filton and supply chain

Around one in ten workers (10 per cent) at the Filton site face losing their jobs but the union is concerned that the fallout across the region will be felt far beyond the site; with every job lost at an employer such as Airbus, a further four jobs will be lost in the supply chain.

Unite described the initial announcement on Tuesday (30 June) that the company was intending to cut 1727 jobs in the UK as ‘economic vandalism’.

Vital for economy

The aerospace sector is vital for the economic wellbeing of the South West. The sector employs 26,600 worker in high-value, highly skilled work. The regional economy benefits to the tune of £1.3 billion in gross value added from aerospace.

Body Blow

Unite regional secretary for the South West Steve Preddy said: “The job losses at Filton are yet another body blow to the South West's economy.

 “And these job losses at Airbus will see many more follow in our communities because for every job lost at Filton a further four could be lost in the regional supply chain.  

"We are very fearful that the reality is that some 1,500 jobs could be lost from the South West aerospace sector.

 “Jobs are being shed at a rapid rate as a direct result of the government’s failure to provide specific support to the UK’s world-class aerospace sector needs to help it recover from this pandemic.

 “Unless the government intervenes and provides specific support to the sector, similar to the support that France and Germany has given to their aerospace industries, then further job losses are inevitable.

 “It is essential that all the region's politicians come together at this critical time to press the government to give this sector and our region the support so desperately needed.

"The South West aerospace is world-class in its standing and of crucial importance to the region's efforts to recover post pandemic.  We appeal to the government, do not let it be lost on your watch.”

Unite plan

Unite has launched a campaign, Protect UK aerospace which has specific demands of: Survive, Recover and Rebuild for the sector.


Notes to editors:

Airbus job cuts ‘vandalism' - but UK government sits on sidelines while a national asset is destroyed 

 During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.