WORKERS at Shipston-on-Stour’s Turbine Blading factory were told on Tuesday they would lose their jobs by the end of 2013.
After a consultation period, owners General Electric confirmed this week the factory would be shutting down and 64 people would lose their jobs.
The factory on Station Road—where gas and steam turbines are designed, engineered, and repaired—has been a major employer in Shipston for 40 years.
Jeff Kenner, the Labour district councillor for the town, described it as devastating news for the people who work at Turbine Blading and their families. “Our first thoughts must be with them,” he said. “We must give them maximum support over the coming weeks and months as they seek new employment in tough economic times.
“The whole town has come together over this because most of us know someone who works at Turbine Blading, or their families, and we all understand the significance of the closure of the last sizeable manufacturer in the town.”
After the huge multi-national company outlined their plans to shut down the factory back in January, Cllr Kenner organised a meeting with General Electric managers during the consultation period.
Now they have confirmed the factory will be closed by the end of the year, he is arranging another meeting with them so the people of Shipston are represented during the process.
On Monday, the MP for the Stratford district, Nadhim Zahawi quizzed General Electric management over their plans for the future of Turbine Blading in Shipston.
He said: “Although it’s always very sad when a business has to look at the future of a factory I’m extremely heartened to hear that GE are engaging well with the staff and the local community.”
General Electric say they will offer any staff affected by their final decision flexibility, and “generous” redundancy packages.
The MP said: “In the meeting I pressed them on their plans to support their staff in finding new jobs both within the GE group and elsewhere and understand that a number of individuals have already expressed an interest in job vacancies elsewhere in the group.”
The huge multi-national company also said it will still be considering any offers from other companies to buy the business.
Yesterday, (Wednesday), a GE spokesman said: “This announcement is in no way a reflection of our employees and their hard work, but part of a long term strategy to simplify our business, manage costs and improve the overall competition position of our fulfilment network.”
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