Union hopes to limit Alcoa Howmet job cuts in Exeter

Image caption, This is the fifth round of job cuts at the Exeter plant in the past year

A union says it hopes to limit the number of job losses at a Devon engineering firm.

Alcoa Howmet, in Exeter, announced earlier this week it was to cut its workforce by about 200.

The planned losses at the turbine blade foundry - which is one of Devon's biggest private employers - would leave the company with about 500 staff.

The union Unite said it would suggest pay cuts or short-time working to try and avoid as many cuts as possible.

The latest round of job losses is the fifth at the Exeter site in the past 12 months and one of the single biggest lay-offs in the county since the recession.

'Offering solutions'

It would leave the company with fewer than half the number of employees it had in Devon a year ago.

In a series of cuts last year, 251 workers lost their jobs and in January a further 95 staff were made redundant.

The company said the cuts were necessary because the market for its products had "dried up".

Andy Murray, of Unite, said: "We're going to be offering up any solutions we can because obviously it's better to have a four-day week's pay coming in than no pay at all.

"So hopefully the business may be able turn itself around and regain that kind of employment level."

Despite the job losses, Alcoa Howmet has insisted the foundry remains an important part of its business.

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