Union fears 180 job losses at car parts manufacturer

Car parts manufacturer Delphi plans to close a UK plant with the loss of more than 180 jobs, a union has claimed. The US multi-national has begun talks with trade union Unite over the future of an electronics factory in Kirkby, Merseyside.

Michigan-based Delphi, one of the world's largest car parts manufacturers, said it is keeping an open mind about the plant's future.

But Unite said the staff "look certain" to lose their jobs, and described the news as a "disaster" for British manufacturing.

Roger Maddison, Unite's national officer for motor components, said: "Our members have worked exceptionally hard to improve efficiencies and quality over the past few years to secure a future in Kirkby, but once again a UK plant has failed to secure new work against competition from lower cost economies.

"This is another disaster for British manufacturing. Should the company's plan go ahead, Unite will do everything it can to ensure our members receive generous redundancies from this global player."

In a statement, Delphi said: "In an effort to address an extremely competitive environment, Delphi has entered discussions with unions and employees at its Liverpool site to determine the future of the company's Liverpool manufacturing plant.

"The competition in the automotive industry is exceptionally intense and the site has not been able to secure new work on a competitive basis.

"Accordingly, as current customer contracts expire, the site has not been able to secure replacement business that would allow the plant to remain operational in the long term."

Delphi employs 3,500 people across the UK.

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