Airbus job losses ‘utterly devastating’, says Welsh Government

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Airbus employs more than 6,000 people at its site in Broughton, Flintshire

Plans to cut 1,700 UK Airbus jobs have been described as “utterly devastating” by a Welsh minister.

Economy, Transport and North Wales minister, Ken Skates said a “huge number” of workers would be extremely worried by the announcement.

The UK losses are expected to be at Broughton, in Flintshire, and Filton, in Bristol.

The company says it plans to cut 15,000 jobs in total as it deals with the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

More details of the job losses and how they will break down between the two giant factories will come at the end of the week after talks with unions.

The firm expects to make the cuts by summer 2021, but hopes the majority of redundancies will be voluntary or through early retirement of staff.

Mr Skates said his thoughts were with workers and their families.

“As a Welsh Government we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the company, its workforce, the unions and the communities impacted by this,” he said.

He said he would provide more detail of the Welsh Government’s response on Wednesday.

“Nobody should be under any illusion about the impact Covid is having on aerospace, a critical part of the Welsh economy,” he said.

“The sector is in crisis and the UK government needs to take swift and decisive action now to save the industry and its supply chain.

“The alarm bells have been sounding for weeks and we need urgent steps at a UK level to prevent this crisis becoming even worse.”

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Every Airbus job at Broughton supports three more, according to one Member of the Senedd

Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Gruffydd warned two-thirds of the 1,700 job losses could be in Broughton.

The Member of the Senedd for North Wales said workers had told him that they expected to potentially lose 1,100 jobs.

He said Airbus supported another three local jobs for every one at the firm.

“We are talking about 25,000 dependent on Airbus in Broughton for their work,” he said.

The UK government’s Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: “I have spoken to Airbus this week and will continue to work closely with the company, the trade unions and the Welsh Government to do everything we can to support employees and those affected in the wider supply chain.”

He said coronavirus continued to “generate huge challenges for businesses.”

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