Goodyear Tyres set to quit UK with hundreds facing axe

All 330 staff at the company’s Wolverhampton plant are set to lose their jobs in what the Unite union said would be a “devastating blow” for the area.

Sky News says that the US-based company intends to transfer the UK site’s operations elsewhere.

It said the move would “strengthen its competitiveness” and reduce costs in the face of a “challenging” business environment.

A company statement said its proposals were subject to consultation with workers and that it was determined to find “responsible and fair solutions”.

Eric Fric, managing director of Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK, said: “We understand the impact the closure of Wolverhampton would have.

“In the face of ever-increasing competition, we carefully considered several options. However we believe these proposals are needed to strengthen our competitiveness and ensure we have a sustainable business.”

The proposals have been slammed by Unite, whose West Midlands spokesman Gerard Coyne said: “It is disgraceful that Goodyear did not have the good grace to tell the workforce first and instead workers found out that they could be out of a job through the local media.

“It is a contemptible way to treat a loyal workforce. Hundreds of families will be now facing uncertainty and we will do everything we can to support them and the community in fighting for jobs and their futures.

“It is clear that Goodyear has ignored the fact that they are a productive workforce and decided to close the factory because UK workers are cheaper and easier to fire than their European counterparts.”