Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
The Unite trade union has always taken a high profile in its climate change campaigning and, in particular, calling for a shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. This effort has now had an impact with 270 workers at Loughborough’s Brush factory being made redundant precisely for this reason. But is Unite apologetic? Of course not. Instead it has tried to spin the announcement as evidence of ‘offshoring’. Unite and renewables In 2017, Unite boasted that it was “exceptionally mindful of the massive potential for growth and employment that the renewable energy industry provides”. And as evidence, it noted that in February 2012 Unite and RenewableUK “signed a ground breaking Memorandum of Understanding which committed both organisations to actively campaign to ensure that funding and policies are in place that will facilitate growth and innovation in the renewable energy industry”. “Unite are committed to support the UK wind, wave and tidal industries to ensure that they create long term skilled employment opportunities”, it added. Reason for the redundancies In announcing the redundancies, Brush explained: “Traditional power markets have seen a significant decline in recent years, driven by the overall growth in renewables. This has led to a fall in demand for the company’s generators and a substantial overcapacity in global generator manufacturing. Sales at Brush peaked in 2012 at 208 units, dwindling to 70 sales in 2017. Of the 2017 sales, a mere 21 were built in Loughborough.” Unite instead blamed the decision on ‘offshoring’ – shifting production abroad. But not only is this not happening but the owner, Melrose Industries, simultaneously announced the closure of a turbogenerator factory in the Netherlands. Unite responds In responding to the news, Unite announced that it would “fight ‘distressing’ jobs losses at Brush Generators”. Commenting, Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said: “Offshoring their jobs will deny the local community of decent well paid work and further hollow out the region’s engineering skill base. Unite is far from convinced of the case behind this move and will be challenging the rationale during the consultation.” The decision is, of course, highly regrettable and will cause widespread hardship in the town. But in seeking to apportion blame, Unite should perhaps reconsider its campaign for renewable energy and ask whether more British jobs are going to be lost as a consequence. Brady calls for ‘solidarity’ Meanwhile, Labour’s new prospective parliamentary candidate for Loughborough, Stuart Brady, a lawyer from Nottinghamshire, was quick to declare that the Labour movement should “show solidarity” with the Brush workers without apparently explaining what, if anything, that meant. The fact that Brady was himself a member of Unite suggested he is unlikely to criticise the union for its contribution to the lack of orders which have caused the problem in the first instance.
Unite’s campaigning helps destroy 270 jobs at Brush
Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB
UNITE’S CAMPAIGNING HELPS DESTROY 270 JOBS AT BRUSH
The Unite trade union has always taken a high profile in its climate change campaigning and, in particular, calling for a shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. This effort has now had an impact with 270 workers at Loughborough’s Brush factory being made redundant precisely for this reason. But is Unite apologetic? Of course not. Instead it has tried to spin the announcement as evidence of ‘offshoring’. Unite and renewables In 2017, Unite boasted that it was “exceptionally mindful of the massive potential for growth and employment that the renewable energy industry provides”. And as evidence, it noted that in February 2012 Unite and RenewableUK “signed a ground breaking Memorandum of Understanding which committed both organisations to actively campaign to ensure that funding and policies are in place that will facilitate growth and innovation in the renewable energy industry”. “Unite are committed to support the UK wind, wave and tidal industries to ensure that they create long term skilled employment opportunities”, it added. Reason for the redundancies In announcing the redundancies, Brush explained: “Traditional power markets have seen a significant decline in recent years, driven by the overall growth in renewables. This has led to a fall in demand for the company’s generators and a substantial overcapacity in global generator manufacturing. Sales at Brush peaked in 2012 at 208 units, dwindling to 70 sales in 2017. Of the 2017 sales, a mere 21 were built in Loughborough.” Unite instead blamed the decision on ‘offshoring’ – shifting production abroad. But not only is this not happening but the owner, Melrose Industries, simultaneously announced the closure of a turbogenerator factory in the Netherlands. Unite responds In responding to the news, Unite announced that it would “fight ‘distressing’ jobs losses at Brush Generators”. Commenting, Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said: “Offshoring their jobs will deny the local community of decent well paid work and further hollow out the region’s engineering skill base. Unite is far from convinced of the case behind this move and will be challenging the rationale during the consultation.” The decision is, of course, highly regrettable and will cause widespread hardship in the town. But in seeking to apportion blame, Unite should perhaps reconsider its campaign for renewable energy and ask whether more British jobs are going to be lost as a consequence. Brady calls for ‘solidarity’ Meanwhile, Labour’s new prospective parliamentary candidate for Loughborough, Stuart Brady, a lawyer from Nottinghamshire, was quick to declare that the Labour movement should “show solidarity” with the Brush workers without apparently explaining what, if anything, that meant. The fact that Brady was himself a member of Unite suggested he is unlikely to
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