'BETRAYAL': 66 jobs at risk as Chesterfield site faces closure

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Plans to shut an award-winning Chesterfield site with the loss of 66 jobs have been branded as 'needless' and 'short-sighted' by Britain's largest union.

A 30-day consultation began today over the proposals which could see Honeywell Process Solutions end more than 50 years of manufacturing at its Holmewood site and move the manufacture of controls for gas pipelines to Germany.

Calling on the company to change its plans and invest in its award-winning workforce, Unite said it would be pressing the company to look at alternatives, including finding different sites in the area.

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Unite regional officer Katie Whittam said: "These needless and short-sighted proposals from Honeywell will be viewed with a sense of betrayal by an award-winning workforce.

"As well as bringing the shutters down on over 50 years of manufacturing heritage at the site, it will see decent, much-needed jobs being stripped from the local economy.

"Over the coming days we will be pressing Honeywell to think again and repay the loyalty of its hard-working staff by investing rather than axing its Chesterfield workforce."

Randal Hodson, plant manager at Honeywell Process Solutions' Holmewood plant, said: "To optimise Honeywell's global operations to meet our customer needs, we have proposed a transition of manufacturing from Chesterfield to large-scale plants in other locations.

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"This change is proposed to happen in phases late this year.

"This should affect a number of positions, but nearly one-third of the roles are expected to be transferred to another location in the UK and the remaining employees will be encouraged to apply for additional Honeywell opportunities in the region."