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.”