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There are 11 hectares of workshop space at the Nantgarw site – enough to cover 16 football pitches
General Electric is to cut 369 jobs at its aircraft engine maintenance plant in south Wales.
GE has been consulting with 1,400 staff at its site in Nantgarw, near Caerphilly, as the firm suffers from the drop of numbers in air travel.
The company, which makes jet engines for Boeing and Airbus, blamed the “unprecedented impact of Covid-19”.
It said it remained focused on “preserving our capability to respond as the industry recovers”.
The announcement comes on top of 180 posts already lost at the site since the coronavirus crisis began through voluntary redundancies.
“Today’s news from GE is further devastating news for Welsh workers, Welsh manufacturing and the Welsh economy,” said union leader Peter Hughes, the regional secretary for Unite Wales.
“Our members at GE and their families will be extremely worried about their futures today.
“Unite will stand completely behind our members and will not move an inch from our position that compulsory redundancies must be ruled out.”
The union called on GE to pause their plans and “work with us to seek an urgent UK government sector deal for aerospace that could save these jobs”.
Welsh economy minister Ken Skates said his officials would be working to help those affected, but said there needed to be “immediate and radical action” from the UK government.
“We have already called for measures to be taken and I am repeating that once again today. Without action from the UK government, the future of the aerospace sector is at serious risk,” said Mr Skates.
“Other central governments have moved rapidly to protect their industries, the UK government must do the same to safeguard a sector which is vital to our economy.”
The UK government has been approached for comment.
GE Aviation employs 1,400 at its aircraft engine maintenance plant in Nantgarw
The Labour MP for Pontypridd Alex Davies-Jones and her Senedd counterpart Mick Antoniw said it was an “absolutely devastating” announcement.
They said it was “particularly distressing” that the majority of GE’s UK job cuts would fall on the Nantgarw site.
“These are highly-skilled, highly-paid jobs and will be extremely difficult to replace,” they said.
It follows job cuts at British Airways in south Wales and the announcement of 1,435 redundancies at Airbus in Broughton in Flintshire.
Ms Davies-Jones and Mr Antoniw added: “The UK aerospace industry is in crisis and it is not acceptable for the UK government to simply sit back and shrug its shoulders.
“We will continue to work with Unite the union and GE management locally to do everything we can to ensure that as many jobs as possible are retained for the future and to support those who have lost their jobs in any way we can.”
The Conservative’s business spokesman in the Senedd, Russell George, said: “If these reports are accurate, then it is clearly going to be very worrying news for the employees at the GE Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in south Wales, during what are already very uncertain times, and it follows similar recent announcements by aviation firms with operations in Wales.”
He said his party would do “all we can” to deal with the impact, including working cross-party with the Welsh Government.
Plaid Cymru’s South East Wales Senedd member Delyth Jewell called on the Welsh Government to look at investing in the “green economy”.
“I fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg, we will see with job losses over the coming weeks and months, which is why I urge the Welsh Government to heed Plaid Cymru’s call for an All-Wales Renewal Fund to help boost sectors that are hardest hit by the crisis,” she said.
“In responding to this crisis, our communities need employment solutions that are sustainable.”
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