‘Shock’ at possible job loss news


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HUNDREDS of staff at a Claverham-based firm could lose their jobs after being told ‘out of the blue’ it could relocate in 2016.

UTC Aerospace Systems runs a number of bases in the United States and the UK and told the Times the proposal had been driven by a need to reduce costs.

One member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job regardless of what the company decides, said he wants North Somerset’s MPs to speak out against the closure plans.

He added: “This week’s news has come completely out of the blue.

“The company has about 300-320 employees and had a turnover of about £66million last year - 15 per cent up on the year before. It was always felt that there was a future for this company.

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“Everyone is currently in shock. As far as I am concerned, the more publicity we can get about it, the better.”

The company, situated in Bishops Road, works in aviation, with contracts in both the defence and industry sectors.

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American firm United Technologies Corporation bought Claverham Ltd in 2001 and the company is known by both names.

Donna Halfpenny, head of communications for UTC, stressed no definite decision has yet been made.

She said: “A formal period of information and consultation will now begin with the site’s information and consultation committee.

“The announcement was communicated to approximately 200 employees.

“The action is being proposed to assure continued competitiveness in the marketplace.

“A significant part of remaining competitive is reducing the number of operating sites.

Mrs Halfpenny added UTC remains committed to strengthening ties with the UK, despite the potential move.

She added: “It is proposed that work will be transferred to other UTC Aerospace Systems locations in both the UK and Poland.

“This announcement is strictly a business-led decision.”

Consultation is planned before a final decision is made.

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