Goodyear has announced its plan to shut down the company’s only manufacturing plant in the United Kingdom. Situated in Wolverhampton, the production facility was established in 1927. It is feared that a total of 330 workers will loose their job due to the shutdown.
Goodyear plans to move the operations to some other site and said that this move would strengthen its competitiveness in the face of a challenging business environment. Concerned MPs and councillors have asked Goodyear to reconsider the move. The labour unions said the decision was “shameful”.
The American tyre manufacturer stated that these proposals are subject to consultation with relevant employee representative bodies and they are determined to find responsible and fair solutions for all affected employees.
The company believes the closure would enable it to align production capacity with market demand, simplify operations and improve efficiency. As per the tyre maker, it would also reduce the structural costs of manufacturing by transferring the production of commercial retreaded tyres and compound-mixing carried out at Wolverhampton to plants in Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Erich Flic, MD, Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK, said, “We understand the impact the closure of Wolverhampton would have. We will honour our responsibilities and will do everything we can to support all employees who are affected. In the face of ever-increasing competition, we carefully considered several options. However, we believe these proposals are needed to strengthen our competitiveness and ensure we have a sustainable business.”
Wayne Devaney, a Goodyear employee, said the plant had performed well over the last 10 years, particularly compared to other similar facilities on the continent. He also said the employees were angry at the decision, particularly after the Dunlop motorsport plant shut-down in Birmingham last year.