Unite the Union

Unite the Union

October 16, 2007 07:40 ET

West Midlands Workers Lobby Parliament Over the Exportation of Their Jobs

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

Embargoed until Wednesday 17th October

Unite members from Huntleigh Health Care in the West Midlands will today travel to London to take part in Unite's Manufacturing Lobby of Parliament over the relocation of its site to Poland.

Huntleigh Health Care announced it will be outsourcing production from its site in Wednesbury to Poland resulting in the loss of more than 300 UK jobs.

Some production has already started to take place in Poznan, Poland and the site in Wednesbury is due to close completely by Christmas this year.

Huntleigh Health Care Plc is one of the largest medical supply companies in the UK, providing NHS hospitals with products for patient assessment and hospital beds.

Huntleigh will be making huge profits by paying Polish workers just Pounds Sterling 1.94 per hour. UK tax payers and the NHS will see no benefit from the company's huge cost savings as Huntleigh squeezes maximum profit from the move abroad.

Huntleigh Health Care made a profit of Pounds Sterling 28.1 million last year.

Gerard Coyne, Unite Regional Secretary for the West Midlands said: "The closure of the Wednesbury site will have a devastating effect on an area that has already experienced so many redundancies in the manufacturing sector. Again jobs are being exported in the chase 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 the West Midlands will be taking to Westminster today."

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

Notes to editors:

UK workers at the Wednesbury site were paid Pounds Sterling 9.81 per hour

The site in Wednesbury produces mostly hospital beds, porter trolleys and drip trolleys.

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