Pittards uncertainty: Government must support manufacturing sector

Union officials representing workers at Pittards have urged the UK government to do more to support the manufacturing sector amidst ongoing uncertainty around the future of the historic Yeovil glovemaker.

In the last week, the firm – which employs around 200 people in Yeovil and 1,000 more at its tanneries in Ethiopia – has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators to assess the company’s viability as a going concern.

Gavin Miller, Community Union’s National Officer for Light Industries, said:

“This is an incredibly worrying situation for our members at Pittards, and it’s important that the company works alongside our officials on site to support the dedicated workforce at this challenging time. The needs of our members come first, and we will be constantly monitoring the situation and engaging with them to make sure we can provide as much reassurance as possible.
“It’s clear that recent developments at Pittards have not emerged in a vacuum, but rather are symptomatic of the difficult outlook facing manufacturers across the country. The situation has not been helped by the UK Government’s ambivalence towards our manufacturing sector, as demonstrated by the lack of any feasible support for businesses in response to inflation rises and industrial energy bills.”
Regional Secretary of the TUC in the South West, Ines Lage, said:
“The TUC are supportive of the ongoing work by our affiliate union, Community, as they continue to monitor the situation at Pittards and support workers on the ground.
“Yeovil and Somerset have been synonymous with high-quality glovemaking and leather manufacturing over the course of centuries, and Pittards remains a bastion of that proud tradition.
“The current Government must do more to protect good local jobs and support businesses like Pittards in the face of ongoing economic pressures. Inflation is still too high and it is deeply affecting local communities, businesses and workers. This situation is a painful example of what happens when ministers make disastrous and irresponsible fiscal decisions, such as last year’s budget, which collapsed the Pound Sterling on international markets.”

Community is the union for the light industries, with a long history of representing workers at the heart of manufacturing and production. Community represents members at globally recognised companies as well as many smaller businesses and consumer goods manufacturers. We are a modern trade union, campaigning for a better working world.

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