Birmingham & Black Country

Wolverhampton Goodyear factory work to stop by Christmas

Goodyear
Image caption Production is set to cease at the factory on 20 December

Production will cease at tyre company Goodyear's only UK factory days before Christmas, bosses have confirmed.

The firm said in a statement work at the Wolverhampton site would stop on 20 December after nearly 90 years there.

This will be followed by a close-down period, estimated to end in June 2017. It is believed about 70 of the 330 workers are still based at the site.

Unite union official Cyril Barrett said he felt "very sad for the people" and "for the community of Wolverhampton".

Plans were first announced for the closure of the factory in June 2015.

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Mr Barrett, Unite union branch chair at the site, said: "I feel very sad for the people, I feel sad for the community of Wolverhampton."

He added: "We are down to about 70 to 75 people and production is gradually being wound down.

"There will be a handful of people kept back to clean the site in the new year, but production will finish on or around 20 December."

'Difficult time'

Staff had been offered work at the firm's plant in Mexico. Mr Barrett said he believed no-one in Wolverhampton had taken up the offer.

In a statement the firm said: "Over the last 18 months we have worked closely with our associates and the trade unions to help those affected by the closure of the Wolverhampton plant.

"Of those seeking further employment, the majority have secured positions around the local area."

The company added: "We are very grateful to our associates for their support and professionalism during this difficult time."

History of Goodyear tyres in Wolverhampton

  • Goodyear was founded in 1898 in Akron, Ohio, USA
  • The company began to expand internationally and in 1913 plans were announced to open a branch in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Goodyear bought the Wolverhampton premises in July 1927 and the first tyres were manufactured in December that year
  • In 1939 the company switched to war production. Factory employees worked 20 days on and just one day off
  • At its height, the factory employed 7,000 workers

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