Union fears the worst as company announces review into last UK manufacturing site


UK manufacturing looks set to be dealt another bitter blow as Shell announces plans to review the future of its last UK manufacturing site in Stanlow, Cheshire, warns Unite.

Unite has 60 members working for Shell at the UK Lubricants Centre in Stanlow – the country’s only producer of the high grade oils necessary for the defence industry – and fears the company will abandon the UK altogether, leaving skilled British workers on the scrapheap.

Shell, the global oil giant, which has seen its profits soar by 54 per cent to $18.6 billion in 2010, has already sold off its last UK refinery and announced earlier this year that it is to shut its main research and development base at Thornton, Cheshire, as part of plans to shift its operations to Germany by 2014.

Unite national officer Linda McCulloch, said: “The UK Lubricants Centre at Stanlow is an award winning site noted for its innovation and efficiency. There is no reason to shut the site. It is profitable and has a fantastic safety record, but it seems that Shell does not care about its UK workforce or investing in the country’s R&D or manufacturing future.

“With Shell now concentrating its research and development in Germany and other overseas centres’ it looks like manufacturing lubricants will also move overseas. This is a huge blow for British manufacturing and a bitter pill for workers to swallow.”

Unite senior representative Paul Done, said: “The closure of our plant will have a devastating impact on our members and the local community. It follows fast on the heels of its plans to shut its main UK research and development operations around the corner from us and spells the end of Shell in the UK.”

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