A union is warning job losses will “engulf” manufacturing without extra support for the sector when furlough ends.
The Unite union is staging a protest outside Parliament today to voice concerns about a “tide” of redundancies after the Job Retention Scheme closes next month.
It said competitor nations are offering long-term support for their manufacturing base, protecting jobs in countries such as France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland and the United States.
Workers from manufacturing factories across the UK will join the Westminster protest.
They will urge MPs to sign a pledge in support of the sector, which has been hit hard by the virus crisis.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “This SOS is a heartfelt plea from people who’ve given their working lives to build Britain and position the UK globally as a great manufacturing nation. They are now urging the Prime Minister: ‘Do not abandon us’.
“They are not asking for bailouts, just a helping hand to share work on reduced hours to retain both jobs and skills in today’s unprecedented circumstances.
“All they want is the support of their Government while we work night and day to get viable businesses through this crisis and bring new orders to the books.
“We are appealing to MPs – help us to get the penny to drop with ministers. Please do not let the good work of recent months go to waste.’
“Keep people in work producing the goods to recover and rebuild our economy, not sitting on the dole, idle and impoverished when there is a country to rebuild.
“UK manufacturing is vital to our economic recovery. It will power the jobs of tomorrow and keep communities strong in those parts of the country that the PM has pledged to ‘level up’.
“But without urgent action by the PM, these communities will suffer terribly as the gates close on the businesses that sit at their heart.”