Unite the Union

Unite the Union

October 16, 2007 11:39 ET

Luton Workers Lobby Parliament Over the Exportation of Their Jobs

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2007) -

Embargoed for Wednesday 17th October

Unite members from Huntleigh Health Care in Luton will today travel to London to take part in Unite's Manufacturing Lobby of Parliament over the exportation of their jobs to Poland.

145 jobs are to be lost from the Luton site when the company moves some of its production to Poznan in Poland. The site in Luton makes specialist equipment for the NHS including mattresses, pumps and DVT and Hydrogen garments which are all specialist equipment for the NHS.

The production of bedding and mattresses is due to move to Poland at the end of December and there is concern over the remaining 100 jobs manufacturing electronic equipment at the Luton site. Huntleigh Health Care refuse to confirm or deny that these jobs could also go to the site in Poland at some point in the future.

Huntleigh will be making huge savings by paying Polish workers just Pounds Sterling 1.94 per hour, despite making a profit of Pounds Sterling 28.1 million last year.

Unite say these profits come at the expense of UK tax payers and the NHS who will see no benefit from the companies huge cost savings as Huntleigh squeezes maximum profit from the move abroad.

Andy Faughnan, Unite Regional Officer said: "The redundancies at the site in Luton will have a devastating effect on an area that already has 7% unemployment. Again jobs are being exported to generate super profits with no regard to the loyal service shown by their workforce.

"The Government is failing to introduce stronger employment laws. This means it's cheaper and easier to sack a British worker than it is to sack workers in many other European countries. Unite wants to see positive action now. That's the message our members in Luton will be taking to Westminster today.

"We also want the government to introduce minimum requirements for companies that win public sector contracts for the items to be sourced and produced in the UK. The UK government spends many billions of pounds a year and UK companies that employ workers and generate wealth here in this country are the ones who should benefit."

Unite would like to see the government's annual procurement spend invested in UK manufacturing which would secure over half a million manufacturing jobs.

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