Call to work with unions to pro­tect jobs at JLR


DEL­E­GATES at Labour’s con­fer­ence in Liver­pool this week urged the Gov­ern­ment to pro­tect jobs at Jaguar Land Rover.

An emer­gency mo­tion was put to the con­fer­ence by trade union Unite, and won over­whelm­ing sup­port from ac­tivists.

It ex­pressed “alarm” at Jaguar Land Rover’s an­nounce­ment that staff at the Cas­tle Bromwich plant in Birm­ing­ham will be put on a three-day week.

Ac­tivists blamed the Gov­ern­ment’s “mis­han­dling of Brexit” and the move away from petrol and diesel cars to elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Labour called on the Gov­ern­ment to “en­gage with unions and in­dus­try to de­velop a strat­egy for the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try to tran­si­tion to elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and re­main in the UK”.

This should in­clude poli­cies help car­mak­ers re­tain staff, and a pol­icy of buy­ing British, the con­fer­ence mo­tion said.

Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Birm­ing­ham Erd­ing­ton, said: “The Gov­ern­ment’s grotesque man­age­ment to of Brexit and tran­si­tion from diesel has threat­ened tens of thou­sands of jobs across the car in­dus­try. If the Gov­ern­ment doesn’t get it right, the fu­ture for the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor is bleak.”

Mean­while, the con­fer­ence was told that Birm­ing­ham Air­port would de­scend into chaos if the Gov­ern­ment goes ahead with a “no-deal” Brexit.

Labour Shadow For­eign Sec­re­tary Emily Thon­berry claimed planes would be un­able to land or take off if the gov­ern­ment left the EU with­out a deal. She said: “I think you should be wor­ried about this in Birm­ing­ham. I think we should be wor­ried about this across the whole of the UK.”

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has said she hopes to ne­go­ti­ate a deal with the EU be­fore Brexit takes place on March 29, 2019. But af­ter EU lead­ers re­jected her pro­posed Che­quers deal last week, she re­peated warn­ings that the UK was ready to quit with­out a deal if needed.

Ms Thorn­berry said: “I’m afraid if we have a no-deal then there is not the clear­ance for our planes to be able to take off to go into Europe and vice-versa.”

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