Unite will campaign for a viable future for Honda's Swindon plant

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today that it believes that the Honda plant in Swindon has a viable future, and will campaign strongly to save the 3,500 jobs currently under threat.

Unite said that it will be entering into meaningful consultations with the Honda management to examine the business case for the factory’s future, following the confirmation today by the company that the site will close in 2021.

Honda said it wanted to accelerate ‘its commitment to electrified cars, in response to the unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry’.

Unite 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.

“We have met the company this morning and will be meeting representatives of the workforce at what is an extremely worrying time for our members and their families.

“The impact of any closure on the Wiltshire economy and more widely throughout the UK supply chain can’t be underestimated – it would be devastating. That’s why Unite will be making every effort to avoid that catastrophic outcome.”