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Forterra Mothball Two UK Factories

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Forterra Mothball Two UK Factories In Lancaster And Accrington

If the Government wants to take this problem seriously then serious decisions must be made says GMB.

GMB and Unite have commented on the announcement this morning that Forterra Brick will mothball two of its UK factories resulting in job losses.

The company announced that plants in Lancaster and Accrington would close for an unspecified amount of time in order to “continue to meet customers' needs while effectively managing our costs and cash position.”

Fortera manufactures a number of building supplies including bricks, chimneys and walling and cladding systems.

Steve Kemp, GMB National Officer, said "Clearly there needs to be a complete sea change in Government policy with regard to the House Building programme which the UK desperately needs.

Imported bricks are still coming into the UK at an unprecedented and alarming rate. In 2014 brick imports accounted for 25% of sales in the UK representing £80 million per year to the UK economy and these imports have meant that future investment is becoming difficult to forge and is increasingly unsteady.

We call on the UK Government to act in defence of the UK brick industry to give both stability and continuity to this important industry.

We also call for a major push on UK social housing which for two long has been ignored by successive governments, after all its not that there is nobody in the UK wanting housing. Many young people for instance are not on the housing ladder because of the extortionate house prices.

If the Government wants to take this problem seriously then serious decisions must be made, including for companies who own land on which housebuilding could take place, but choose not to sell in the hope of the land price going up.

The lack of affordable decent homes is affecting families across the whole country; we need a government that has a clear policy and direction in the construction of affordable homes. Intervention is essential and the time to act is now.

GMB members are producing the goods at work so it’s up to Government that a level playing field is sought. Britain needs to get building again.”

Bernard McAulay, Unite National Officer, said “Last year, when the Accrington and Claughton Plants reopened prior to the General Election, both the Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osbourne said the company’s decision to reopen both these plants creating new jobs within the Brick Manufacturing Industry was the strongest evidence possible that Britain and the North West are coming back and are on course to prosperity.

Just over twelve months later, quite the opposite, the loss of these 45 jobs is upsetting news for the Brick manufacturing company as Forterra as a Global client, given the uncertainty surrounding Government Policy especially in the lack of investment and delivering in the crucial area of Social Housing.

Highlights the UK Housing crisis isn’t just about houses it’s about people. It’s about the family struggling to meet next month’s mortgage payment. The young family renting a rundown flat wondering if they will ever be able to afford a decent home of their own, their children living in temporary accommodation forced to change schools every time they move.

The lack of affordable decent homes is affecting families across the whole country, that’s why we need a government that has a clear policy and direction in the construction of affordable homes.

Mothballing these plants highlights the lack of confidence the Brick Manufacturing Industry have in the Tory Government to deliver on its promises to construct 200,000 new homes a year.”

End

Contact: Steve Kemp on 07730 898102 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691

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