A total of 95% of workers at Erdington’s GKN Automotive’s plant in Birmingham have voted overwhelmingly in favor of strike action to prevent the closure of the factory.
The company announced earlier their plans to close the factory and move work overseas.
GKN’s chief executive Liam Butterworth said last January that “an increasingly competitive global market means that the site is no longer viable.”
The 95% voting turnout demonstrated the employees’ determination to secure a long-term future for the plant and prevent the transfer of their work overseas to other GKN plants.
The closure of the factory in Erdington, which assembles driveline systems for petrol and diesel cars, would result in the loss of 519 jobs and apprenticeships.
Union Unite representatives are now calling on interested parties including the government, local politicians, and GKN’s customers to reach an agreement on future production and support.
A GKN Automotive spokesperson said that “GKN Automotive is disappointed by the result of the ballot but respects the right of our colleagues to take legitimate industrial action. However, this does not change our difficult decision to close the Erdington plant.”
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