Hitachi Rail on Aycliffe Business Park hosted a visit by Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves MP and Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds. The pair joined local Labour candidate for Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor Alan Strickland for meetings with senior managers, workers and trade union representatives.
The meeting comes after Hitachi warned its 700 workers in Aycliffe that, unless the government acts quickly to fill a production gap, jobs will be at risk.
Alan Strickland said: “The Hitachi plant is a real local gem, providing well-paid manufacturing jobs to residents here in Newton Aycliffe and across the area. But, that’s at severe risk because the government has been dithering on a key decision needed to support the factory. Hitachi has a busy order book until October this year, and again in the future so, for the last two years, they’ve been asking for some simple flexibility on contracts to help fill the gap. Without that, they’ll struggle to keep the factory open, and the government’s failed to help.
“I was very pleased that Rachel promised strong support if Labour wins the general election and that she’ll keep up the pressure on the government to do the right thing.”
Photo, left to right: Shadow Business Secretary, Jonathan Reynolds MP; Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves MP; Labour Candidate for Newton Aycliffe & Spennymoor, Alan Strickland.