Socialist Worker

Return of one in ten unemployment statistic?

Issue No. 2142

The threat of job losses is being felt in every sector as the recession deepens.

The British Chambers of Commerce this week predicted that unemployment will hit 3.2 million by the second half of next year.

This is one in ten of the workforce in Britain.

Workers are already bearing the brunt of this.

Over 2,000 jobs are threatened at the Principles clothes chain, where administrators announced that 66 stores are to close over the next few weeks.

ITV has announced that it is to slash 600 jobs and scale back on its drama output.

The catalogue and home shopping giant Freemans Grattan Holdings has said it will close operations in Bradford, Peterborough and London with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

Birmingham-based engineering firm IMI has cut around 250 jobs, with a further 750 jobs threatened. Novelis’s aluminium sheet mill in Rogerstone, Newport, South Wales is to close by the end of April, with the loss of 440 jobs.

The cuts are also hitting the public sector.

The Welsh Local Government Association said that councils will cut up to 2,000 jobs by 2011.

Almost half of Wales’ 22 councils have already reduced staff numbers through voluntary redundancies and recruitment freezes.

Over 160 jobs are set to be axed at Doncaster College because of a shortfall in Learning Skills Council funding. The equivalent of 550 full-time jobs, around a third of the staff, are at risk at London Metropolitan University.

Unfortunately, some unions are accepting management’s arguments about the need for workers to make sacrifices to save jobs, rather than fighting.

Workers at Jaguar Land Rover voted last week to accept a four-day week and a year long pay freeze after their Unite and GMB unions backed the plans.

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Tue 10 Mar 2009, 18:32 GMT
Issue No. 2142
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