GKN Automotive Plant: Birmingham — [Dame Angela Eagle in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:02 am on 28th April 2021.

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Photo of Rachel Hopkins Rachel Hopkins Labour, Luton South 10:02 am, 28th April 2021

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairship, Dame Angela. I congratulate my hon. Friend Jack Dromey on securing this extremely important debate. I am a Unite trade union member, and all of us in the Labour and trade union movement fully understand, particularly on International Workers’ Memorial Day, that an injury to one is an injury to all. That is why I am speaking in this debate as the Member of Parliament for Luton South, a constituency in my home town of Luton that has a long history of car and van manufacturing at the Vauxhall plant, which provides skilled jobs. I know how important those jobs are to our local economy and our communities’ livelihoods, so I send my solidarity to the workers at GKN in Erdington, whose jobs are at risk.

Manufacturing matters, and GKN is a vital strategic supplier to our automotive sector. It has the capacity to transition to new products for electric vehicles, as we have heard. That green capacity will be essential in the future for plants such as Vauxhall in Luton South. Since acquiring GKN, Melrose has sought to offshore manufacturing and transfer—