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Warning to Chancellor over future.

Byline: Alan Plews

Manufacturing jobs are set to disappear in the UK in 24 years.

This is the stark message being delivered today to Chancellor Gordon Brown by the Transport and General Workers Union.

The union opened its conference at Blackpool warning the loss of manufacturing jobs has worsened in the past year - and 90pc of people believe government is not doing enough to help.

But while the TGWU sentiments were echoed in the Tees Valley, senior GMB officer Jimmy Skivington said he thought 24 years was optimistic.

"That seems to be a precise figure but I would think the end of manufacturing will come sooner than that," he said. "All the signs are there."

In the last 15 years Jeff Morland, a Tees Valley officer with the Amicus union, has seen clothing, microwave oven and television tube manufacturing go abroad, where labour is cheaper.

"It is all very well people saying we should be getting involved in the hi-tech end of things but not everyone can be a rocket scientist," he said.

"For a balanced economy we need machinists and people who know how to operate a screwdriver."

Gerry Hunter, senior regional officer for Amicus, condemned offshoring - companies moving abroad.

"The problem is at the end of the day shareholders are better supported by companies than employees and that is tragic."
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Title Annotation:Business Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2005
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