Honda confirms shock plan to close Swindon plant: Union reaction

February 19, 2019

The Unite union, which has members among Honda’s 3,500-strong workforce, described the closure as a “shattering body blow” to UK manufacturing – and laid the blame firmly on the government’s approach to Brexit.

It also said it would fight to retain production at the plant. 

National officer for the automotive sector Des Quinn said: “We acknowledge the global challenges that Honda has outlined in its statement, but we don’t accept that this plant, with its highly skilled and dedicated workforce, does not have a viable future.

“We are now entering a period of meaningful consultations with the management to examine in detail the business case put forward by the company. We will leave no stone unturned to keep this plant going and its workforce in employment.

“While Brexit is not mentioned by the company as a reason for the announcement, we believe that the uncertainty that the Tory government has created by its inept and rigid handling of the Brexit negotiations lurks in the background.

“If the government had delivered a strong and stable Brexit that protected the economy and jobs, we may well have been in a very different position today.

Alan Tomala, regional officer for the union who worked at the plant between 1995 and 2007, said workers were “angry, dismayed and worried”. 

“The usual formula is one job in the plant equates to four in the supply chain and the local economy. If closure is confirmed, it will rip the heart out of this area,” he added.

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Swindon & Wiltshire for just £70 a month. Email for more information.