Union convenor claims BMW jobs at risk in UK
Plant workers in Cowley are worried about their jobs following the Brexit result
The convenor of the Unite trade union has said that BMW jobs are at risk in the United Kingdom following the decision to Leave the European Union by 52% of the British people last Thursday.
Chris Bond, the Unite convenor at the BMW plant in Cowley, warned that the manufacture of the Mini models could be transferred to another EU membership country in the result of a Brexit because that would make “better economic sense”.
Before the EU referendum on June 23, Mr Bond had asked the 4,500 BMW employees who he represents to vote for Remain. Following a Leave victory, the convenor said the BMW workers had been “let down” by those who had chose to leave.
On the Friday following the referendum, a BMW spokesperson said there would be “no immediate change to our operations in the UK”.
According to Mr Bond, the manufacturing plant in Cowley, Oxford, can not be threatened until 2025, but this assurance does nothing to allay the fears of the workers, who must now worry about the longterm stability of their jobs.
Convenors from the union are to meet with BMW chiefs today to discuss the Brexit and its effects on the future of the plant. According to Mr Bond, the cost of exporting vehicles to mainland Europe could rise by £300 per car when the UK does leave the EU.
However, this is only conjecture, as no one can yet know what deal the UK will reach with EU bosses.
BMW Mini spokesman, Steven Wrelton, commented: “Today we know that many of the relevant conditions for supplying the European market will have to be re-negotiated, but of course we cannot say what this means for our UK operations until those future regulatory and legislative arrangements are agreed.”
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