Up to 45 jobs could be axed at Mahle Engineering Systems in Kilmarnock, it can be revealed today.
The Riccarton plant currently employs 181 workers to make high-quality components for motorsport engines, combustion engines and electric vehicles.
The news is the latest hammer blow to the town which has suffered on the employment front since the coronavirus outbreak took hold in March.
Consultations opened this week and job losses are expected to begin by the end of October with the remainder in the New Year.
Unite the union say that they’ve been made aware of proposals to cut 42 roles and they’re doing “everything possible” to halt job cuts at the site.
But Mahle told the Kilmarnock Standard they had identified an “overcapacity of around 45 jobs”.
Unite regional industrial officer Paul Bennett said: “The announcement by Mahle Engine Systems that around a quarter of the jobs are to go at its Kilmarnock plant is a hammer blow.
“Unite has been in ongoing talks with Mahle to prevent compulsory redundancies after the parent company said that it was cutting around 3,700 jobs in Europe.
“We continue to do everything possible to stop the 42 job cuts in Kilmarnock and Unite is calling on government at all levels to support us in this fight.
“Thousands of highly-skilled Scottish manufacturing jobs and those supported in the supply-chain are on the brink of being lost forever. More support is needed by government if we are to prevent the tsunami of job cuts on the horizon.”
The German-owned company announced in mid-September that it was planning to reduce its workforce by 7,600 people in response to the industry collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Europe accounts for around 3,700 of the job losses, of which 2,000 are in Germany with the rest across Europe.
Mahle has specifically cited a weakening of the global demand in passenger car and truck sales with vehicle markets not expected to recover for some years as the primary cause for the massive job cuts.
On Friday, September 18, Unite Scotland and the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling for ‘urgent intervention’ by the UK Government to preserve highly-skilled jobs in the UK aerospace sector along with the leaders of the devolved administrations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The letter called for the immediate establishment of a UK Aerospace Taskforce in order that government, business and trade unions collectively work together to support businesses, workers and communities.
A spokeswoman for Mahle International told the Kilmarnock Standard: “We confirm that MAHLE has identified an overcapacity of around 45 jobs for the Klimarnock site.
“The exact timing forms part of our discussions with the relevant employee representatives, which are now commencing.
“Please understand that we are not able to communicate any further details at this time.
“The identified adjustment needs are based on the structural and strategic requirements MAHLE is addressing as part of the restructuring process of the group, particularly in the context of the technological transformation of the automotive industry, and of our forecasts for the market developments in the coming years.
“With this in mind, we have performed a very thorough review of all our regions, business areas, and locations in recent months.”