Hull MP Alan Johnson issues 'call to arms' to employers

Alan Johnson
Image caption Mr Johnson said his "heart goes out" to local workers threatened with job losses

An East Yorkshire MP has issued a "call to arms" to companies to keep production in the Hull area.

Alan Johnson, Labour MP for Hull West, said Hull was a "good place to set up business" and asked local firms not to move work away from the city.

He said the country had come out of recession in the last quarter but it did not "feel like that in Hull".

The plea followed three weeks in which the Humber region faced the threat of almost 1,000 job losses.

'Crucial deal'

Mr Johnson said: "My heart goes out to workers at Comet, Kimberley Clark, McCain and Seven Seas who have this uncertainty in really difficult times."

The former home secretary said the local job situation made it "crucial to land a deal with Siemens".

The engineering firm is expected to build a £210m wind turbine factory in a Hull dock, but the signing of the deal with Associated British Ports has been delayed until 2013.

Image caption Mr Stuart said Hull had "been neglected too long".

Graham Stuart, Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness, said the city's three Labour MPs and himself were "working together more effectively than we have in the past".

"This area has been neglected too long," he added.

During October a series of employment blows landed on the region.

Kimberley Clark is set to close its mill in Barton Upon Humber with a loss of 378 jobs.

Seven Seas announced it is to outsource production from its Hull plant where more than 250 people are employed.

Changing shift patterns at the McCain frozen food factory in Hull mean up to 50 jobs are to be axed.

On Thursday it was announced that up to 200 jobs at the Hull headquarters of electrical retailer Comet were at risk after the firm announced it would be placed in administration.

There is continued uncertainty over jobs at BAE systems in Brough and ongoing cuts to public sector jobs at local authorities.

October figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the UK's jobless figure fell to 7.9%. In contrast, the unemployment rate in Hull stands at 15.8%.

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