Engineering job cuts a ‘hammer blow’ for East Ayrshire

German-owned firm Mahle says it will make 45 workers redundant at the plant it operates in Kilmarnock.

Engineering job cuts a ‘hammer blow’ for East Ayrshire Google

A trade union says the move by a German engineering firm to cut jobs at its plant in East Ayrshire is a “hammer blow” for the area.

Mahle, which makes engine components, says it will make 45 workers redundant at the plant it operates in Kilmarnock, as part of a wider global restructuring.

The company announced in mid-September that it was planning to reduce its workforce by 7600 people in response to the industry collapse caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Job losses are expected to begin by the end of October with the remainder in the New Year, officials said.

Europe accounts for around 3,700 of the job losses, of which 2,000 are in Germany, with the rest across Europe.

Unite regional industrial officer Paul Bennett said: “The announcement by Mahle Engine Systems that around a quarter of the jobs are to go at its Kilmarnock plant is a hammer blow.

“Unite has been in ongoing talks with Mahle to prevent compulsory redundancies after the parent company said that it was cutting around 3,700 jobs in Europe.

“We continue to do everything possible to stop the 42 job cuts in Kilmarnock and Unite is calling on government at all levels to support us in this fight.

“Thousands of highly-skilled Scottish manufacturing jobs and those supported in the supply-chain are on the brink of being lost forever.”

Mahle has cited a weakening of the global demand in passenger car and truck sales, with vehicle markets not expected to recover for some years, as the primary cause for the massive job cuts.

On September 18, Unite Scotland and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to Boris Johnson, calling for urgent intervention by the UK Government, to preserve the aerospace jobs.

They called for the immediate establishment of a UK aerospace taskforce in order that government, business and trade unions collectively work together to support businesses, workers and communities.

A spokesperson for Mahle said: “We confirm that Mahle has identified an overcapacity of around 45 jobs for the Kilmarnock site.

“The exact timing forms part of our discussions with the relevant employee representatives, which are now commencing.

“The identified adjustment needs are based on the structural and strategic requirements Mahle is addressing as part of the restructuring process of the Group, particularly in the context of the technological transformation of the automotive industry, and of our forecasts for the market developments in the coming years.

“With this in mind, we have performed a very thorough review of all our regions, business areas, and locations in recent months.”

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