London – Pirelli is seeking to close the MIRS (modular integrated robotised system) tire-making unit at its Burton on Trent plant with the loss of 80 jobs, according to trade union Unite.
The company has announced that it is in consultation with trade unions about proposals to reorganise one department at the UK tire plant.
Around 380 employees are employed at Burton out of a current total workforce of 1,300 employees in the UK, the company stated.
“Considering the challenging economic outlook, compounded by the Covid-19 emergency, Pirelli will reorganise one department at Burton-on-Trent,” said a 9 Feb company release.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders estimates show a decline of 29.4% of new car registrations in the UK last year, Pirelli pointed out.
The company also cited UK department of transport data at the end of January, showing a -48.3% year-on-year fall in car-usage.
Unite, however, criticised the company for not taking up the furlough scheme for these workers, instead of pushing ahead with the redundancies.
“Unite is bitterly disappointed that the Pirelli bosses have started to consult on redundancies in Burton-on-Trent, rather than furlough the workers concerned for the maximum time possible,” said Rick Coyle, the union’s regional officer.
According to a Unite press release, the union represents the total workforce at the Pirelli Burton plant, currently about 280 members.
In its statement, Pirelli went to emphasise its commitment to maintaining industrial operations at both its UK locations, Carlisle and Burton-on-Trent,
"Carlisle is not affected in any way by the developments at Burton," according to a Pirelli written statement to ERJ.
Pirelli said it had invested €70 million from 2018 to 2020 and was proceeding with planned investments of around €20 million this year.
“For Pirelli, the UK operation remains a valuable part of the group’s global industrial footprint and central to the service of local customers,” the company concluded.