GMB Union - Bentley Motors - bentley-motors-aerial-view-of-current-site

GMB Union bosses say the Bentley Motors announcement to shed 1,000 jobs from is South Cheshire plant is “another bitter blow to manufacturing in the region”.

The luxury car maker told its 4,200 staff on Friday that it needed to let go almost a quarter of the workforce as the impact of the pandemic on the car industry bites hard.

It announced a “voluntary release programme” in the hope most if not all the losses will be voluntary, with redundancy packages offered.

But the company did not rule out having to make compulsory redundancies.

GMB has described the jobs as “difficult to replace” and is calling on the UK government to save regional manufacturing jobs by providing more financial support to the car industry, matching support provided in EU countries like France.

GMB Convenor Simon Wright said: “This is a bitter blow not only for our GMB members at the Bentley factory, but to the local economy and employment in the region.

“These are high quality skilled jobs, the like of which will be difficult to replace.

“Bentley is a mark of distinction with a global reputation and we are able to attract the highest calibre of employee ensuring the very highest manufacturing standards.”

GMB Organiser Karen Lewis said: “Unfortunately, this announcement is another reminder of the impact of Covid 19 not only on our members and their communities, but on manufacturing and jobs across the UK.

“We will be calling on the government to bring forward the type of support for the sector seen in other countries across Europe.”

Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said at Friday’s announcement the move was necessary to “safeguard the jobs of the many”.

He added: “It is vital, even more so now with what is going on around us that we look to the long-term future of Bentley.

“This means fundamentally redefining our company so we respond immediately to protect the business through this crisis, continue to lead our sector by reinventing the company and look to establish ourselves as the leader in sustainable luxury mobility for the next 100 years.”

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