Unite says calls on government to stop Delphi job cuts

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The government must speed up its automotive assistance programme to help prevent a proposed 71 job losses at automotive sector supplier Delphi's plant in Kirkby, Merseyside. The plant makes electronic car components for companies such as Jaguar, GM and Peugeot.

Commenting on job cuts that will see the company shedding a quarter of its workforce as a result of the collapse in the car market, Phil Allman, regional officer for the union Unite, said union representatives had expressed their disappointment at the proposals to make 71 workers redundant from its 300 plus workforce at a meeting with Delphi last week. He went on: "Workers are frustrated and upset. For the past eight months they have had lay-offs in a bid to save costs. We asked the government for support in January to save these jobs yet not a penny has reached Delphi or any UK auto firm through this difficult period. In Germany they get 75 per cent cash support which is why they are able to save their skills. The needless dragging of heels by our government means we've almost doubled the jobs lost in Merseyside. "71 job cuts will have a devastating economic effect on families and the community in this already hard hit area. Unless there is urgent support from the UK government to support the UK auto industry, then we will continue to see thousands more UK skilled jobs thrown on the scrapheap. "We urge the government to get involved and safeguard the future of the plant and its workforce. Unite will be doing everything possible to support our members." Unite is campaigning for a temporary short-time working subsidy programme to help preserve skilled manufacturing jobs through the recession. A similar scheme in the early 1980s helped save hundreds of thousands of economically vital jobs.