TWO hundred staff at Airbus’ Broughton plant will be given new roles after the company decided to switch part of its wing production to another company in South Korea.
The workforce were told on Tuesday that work on bottom wing skins on the A320 family of passenger aircraft will move to Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI).
Airbus has promised that affected workers will be retrained and redeployed, but union Unite has branded the move as an ‘own goal’ for UK aerospace claiming it undermines the world-beating skills of UK workers and will weaken Britain’s position in the global aerospace industry.
Unite’s national officer for aerospace and shipbuilding, Ian Waddell, said: “This decision is a real blow for the UK aerospace industry.
“We have many UK companies ready, willing and able to carry out work for Airbus but who have missed out now work is being sent to Korea.
“The UK is a world leader in wing production, but this contract weakens that position and gives our global competitors an unnecessary edge.
“The UK government and the Welsh Assembly have pumped millions of pounds into Airbus over many years, but that support has not been reflected in keeping work in the UK.
“Workers in the aerospace supply chain will feel this is a massive own goal by the UK’s leading aircraft manufacturer.”
Airbus says the move will allow its Broughton facility to focus resources on key high value production areas, core competencies of wing assembly and equipping.
This high level work and final assembly of the A320 wings will continue to be carried out at Broughton.
An Airbus spokesman said: “The transfer of non-core work to KAI is a positive strategic business choice which recognises the increase in productivity and capacity resulting from a strong Airbus order book.
“The 200 Airbus employees currently working on this project will be redeployed within the plant.
“Production rates in Airbus are increasing and many of the resources made available by this decision will be utilised in supporting the impact of this at Broughton.”