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General Electric to axe 369 jobs in South Wales

The losses affect the Nantgarw aircraft engine factory.

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A Unite logo (Steve Parsons/PA)

A Unite logo (Steve Parsons/PA)

A Unite logo (Steve Parsons/PA)

General Electric has announced 369 redundancies at its aircraft engine factory in South Wales.

The firm, which makes jet engines for Boeing and Airbus, had been consulting with its 1,400 workforce at its Nantgarw site since May.

The decision is further blow to Wales’ aviation industry, after Aerospace giant Airbus announced it was planning to cut 1,435 jobs at its factory in Broughton, North Wales, as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

GE Aviation’s job cuts are on top of 180 posts already going after the company opened a voluntary severance scheme for workers.

The further reductions mean the site would see a reduction it its workforce of almost 40% since the beginning of the year.

A GE Aviation spokesman said: “The proposals to reduce our workforce are due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the commercial aviation industry.

“We appreciate the commitment of all our employees during this difficult time, and we regret having to make these proposals.

“We remain focused on protecting the safety of our employees, continuing to serve our customers, and preserving our capability to respond as the industry recovers.”

Peter Hughes, Unite Wales’ regional secretary, said: “Today’s news from GE is further devastating news for Welsh workers, Welsh manufacturing and the Welsh economy.

“GE is yet another of Wales’ flagship employers that is shedding hundreds of high quality jobs whilst the UK Government watches from the side-lines.

“Our members at GE and their families will be extremely worried about their futures today.

“Unite will stand completely behind our members and will not move an inch from our position that compulsory redundancies must be ruled out.

“Whilst we accept that the aerospace sector and GE are under enormous pressure at present it is crucial that the company do not rush headlong into this.

“They need to pause their plans and work with us to seek an urgent UK Government sector deal for aerospace that could save these jobs.

“It is scandalous that Governments in both France and Germany are taking the action now to save aerospace jobs whilst the Chancellor focuses on gimmicks such as meal deals for August.

“Thousands of workers across Wales are screaming for Government action to defend their jobs, Boris Johnson needs to act, and act now.”

Alex Davies-Jones, Labour MP for Pontypridd, said: “This is awful news for our communities, and it is clear that the UK Government need to step up and support Labour’s call for a targeted support sector deal for our aviation industries and these sectors that are being unfairly targeted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“These are highly skilled, highly paid jobs that we are losing and they’re going to be really difficult to replace.”

PA