Union to fight jobs losses at Derbyshire factory

Sandvik's plant at Swadlincote in Derbyshire which is set to close Photo: ITV News Central

The Unite Union have told ITV News Central they will fight plans to move production of specialist construction equipment from a factory in Derbyshire to Northern Ireland.

Sandvik Construction want to close their factory in Swadlincote which would result in three hundred and sixty job losses. The company say they are not busy enough to keep both sites open. Workers met with bosses today to ask why their workplace is the one under threat.

Sandvik make heavy duty crushing machines for the construction industry. Each model takes six weeks to build and costs anything up to £800,000. They machines assembled at the plant in Swadlincote and exported all over the world for use in the construction industry.

Under new plans, this time next year, the production at Swadlincote will have ceased and production moved to the plant in Ballygawley in Northern Ireland where 160 new jobs will be created. 360 job losses are expected in Swadlincote.

Lahky Mahal, Derbyshire's Unite representative says the union will fight the planned closure of the production line.

Despite growth in the UK construction industry last year, Sandvik say both their factories are working at fifty percent capacity which is not sustainable in the long term.

Managing Director of Sandvik Construction, Terry Allison, moved to reassure workers that they be listened to during the consultation period.

But, as things stand, in a year from now, only about 80 office-based jobs will remain at the Swadlincote site and the factory buildings will be empty.