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Is UK manufacturing doomed?

01 June, 2004

Is UK manufacturing doomed?

Manufacturing in the UK will end by the year 2030 if jobs continue to be lost at the present rate, according to new figures from the Transport and General Workers` Union. Although there are still 3.41 million people employed in the British manufacturing sector, these jobs are disappearing at a rate of 126,363 a year, says the union.

"An industrial base that took nearly 200 years to build up, has been nearly destroyed in 20 years," warns TGWU general secretary, Tony Woodley.

"Government action must be immediate," he demands. "Millions of jobs, and a balanced economy, still depend on the success of UK manufacturing. As a start, the Government should speed up the review of public procurement policies."

According to the TGWU`s figure, then West Midlands is one of the worst affected regions. At present, there are about 421,000 people working in manufacturing in this region, but their jobs are disappearing at a rate of 22,200 a year. If this continues unabated, manufacturing could end in the west Midlands by 2022.

On 22 May, the TGWU joined other unions for a march and rally in Birmingham to "Fight back for manufacturing".

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