Industry winds up black week with another 1,000 out of work

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The Independent Online
A FURTHER 1,000 jobs were lost in aerospace, mining and construction yesterday, ending one of the blackest weeks on record for British industry.

Laird, the engineering group, confirmed it was closing its aero-engine components plant in Burnley with the loss of 340 jobs.

British Coal said it would halve the workforce at its Daw Mill 'superpit' in Warwickshire, resulting in 580 redundancies.

The Cambridgeshire roofing and building materials company, Eternit, cut 60 more jobs at Meldreth, blaming recession and the slump in construction work. The company has cut 400 jobs in the past two years.

The latest redundancies bring the toll of job losses this week to 6,500. On Tuesday, British Aerospace announced 3,000 job losses in its regional aircraft division and the closure of its Hatfield plant in Hertfordshire.

The car makers Ford and Rolls-Royce axed 2,500 jobs on Thursday.

The closure of the Laird subsidiary, Burnley Engineering Products, had been feared since May, when the company said it would shut the plant if a buyer was not found.

One offer was made but subsequently withdrawn.

The cutbacks at the Daw Mill pit come nine days after British Coal announced the closure of Trentham Colliery in Staffordshire, with the loss of 1,400 jobs.

Gavin Laird, general secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, said that the Government was 'frozen in a state of suspended animation' that was killing manufacturing.

Bill Morris, the general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, warned: 'Unless urgent action is taken by the Government, we fear the worst has not yet been seen.

'The leading companies that have announced job losses this week are all firms whose success matters to the future of our country because they make a major contribution to British industry,' he said

Argyll, the supermarkets group, is to create 2,500 full and part-time jobs between now and Christmas at Safeway and Presto stores around the country.

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