GKN Aerospace, one of Britain’s oldest industrial manufacturing companies, has announced plans to cut 1,000 white collar jobs, in a bid to make it a “coherent business”.
The firm was bought by Melrose last year for £8.1bn after an ill-tempered takeover scrap, with the buyer promising to boost profits at the former blue-chip firm.
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National officer at union Unite Rhys McCarthy said: “Unite will be seeking assurances from GKN that no UK production staff will be affected by job cuts in addition to guarantees over future investment in the UK.”
GKN, which can trace its roots back to the start of the industrial revolution, is heavily involved in making parts for the aerospace and automotive industry. The takeover deal was fraught with concerns over what it would do to the UK’s industrial sector, and Melrose was forced to promise not to sell the aerospace division without government ministers’ approval.
The new buyer also said it would put money into the firm to implement a turnaround plan.
The job cuts will be spread across GKN’s UK, European and US operations, and are part of Melrose’s plan to make £150m in its aerospace business by merging its four arms into one.
“We are creating a single, fully integrated business aligned to our customers’ needs, which will ensure we are better positioned within the competitive global aerospace market.
“Our rapid growth has brought us world-leading technology, an outstanding global footprint from which to support our customers, a balanced portfolio of work across all major aircraft platforms, and great people. It has also made us relatively complex. By taking the next step and fully integrating, we can begin to realise our full potential.”
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“This is a fundamental transformation of the business and it is the right move for the long-term as we move into a more coherent business structure.
The reduction in roles is difficult for all involved and we will work closely with works councils and social partners in all our key regions over the coming months to minimise the impact wherever possible, and ensure the process is managed in the most appropriate way.”
(Main image: Getty)