Wolverhampton Goodyear To Close By 2017

Goodyear Wolverhampton

After nearly 90 years, Goodyear in Wolverhampton is to close with a loss of more than 300 jobs.

It's only manufacturing plant in the UK and the US company says it'll close no earlier than January 2017.

The closure was announced back in June that 330 jobs would be put at risk and there's expected to be the first redundancies on New Year's Eve this year.

Bosses say the factory - which has been running for 88 years - has to close in order to be competitive in the current market.

Production at the plant is expected to stop no earlier than 2017. It's yet another hit for the Midlands following the closure of MG Rover and Peugeot.

At it's height around 7,000 people worked at the Wolverhampton tyre company.

MP for Wolverhampton North East Emma Reynolds has been campaigning from the start to keep the site open and says she's disappointed with the decision. Just last week Emma Reynolds was hoping bosses would meet to discuss whether the factory could actually be profitable.

Emma Reynolds and Unite the Union have told us their focus now is to get the best deal they can for the workers.

When the news initially broke in June, Gerard Coyne, Unite regional secretary for the West Midlands, said: “The closure of the factory and the loss of hundreds of skilled manufacturing jobs will be a devastating blow to the economy.  

“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 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."

This time around, many workers we spoke to today where unaware of the news that it's going to close and hadn't heard anything from their bosses or the company.

Capital's been told there'll be a meeting with Unite and Goodyear on Thursday followed by one with Wolverhampton City Council. Unite members will also meet over the weekend.