GMB union sees euro as way to protect jobs

The GMB union has called on the Government to introduce the euro after a
report revealed one manufacturing post was lost for every working minute of the
day last year.

The figures in the GMB report show that in 2001 job losses in the
manufacturing sector reached 111,843, a rise of 15,774 from 2000.

Scotland was the hardest hit region losing 16,924 jobs, while in England the
North West suffered most with 9,555 positions cut.

John Edmonds, general secretary of the GMB, blames uncertainty surrounding
the future of Britain’s involvement in the euro and called on the Government to
protect UK manufacturing jobs by joining the single currency.

"The best way forward to protect British jobs is to join the euro at a
realistic exchange rate.

"We must do this to ensure a healthy and vibrant economy. And we must
do this soon," said Edmonds.

"British manufacturing is in crisis because the uncertainty of adopting
the euro has become a major factor in deterring multinationals from investing
in Britain. While the euro and the pound remain worlds apart, we will continue
to see these job losses despite best efforts," he said.

The report claims many firms cite the overvaluing of the pound against the
euro as the prevailing reason for the job cuts.

One example highlighted was Ravenhead in Lancashire, which cut 320 staff
last year. The company, which has a 150-year history, said it was forced to
make cuts when the strong pound made exports uncompetitive.

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