Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington & Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Public Health has today written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding Nissan UK's decision to suspend work at the plant in Sunderland.
Click on image to download letter
This development will undoubtedly be extremely worrying for the tens of thousands of people who rely upon the plant for their livelihoods, and is an example of just how much of an impact Coronavirus is having on our country.
Sharon is calling on the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that no businesses or individuals in this country bear the brunt of this crisis.
"The news that Nissan UK has decided to suspend production at the plant in my constituency is extremely concerning, and shows just how much of an impact Coronavirus is having on our country.
"The Prime Minister must take further action to safeguard industries and businesses that are already suffering as a result of the virus.
"Both he and the Chancellor need to urgently take steps to ensure that no businesses or individuals bear the brunt of this crisis. 40,000 people in and around my constituency rely upon the plant for their livelihoods and I will do everything I can to secure them."
Text of letter:
The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Prime Minister's Office
10 Downing Street
17 March 2020
I am writing to you regarding the decision made today by Nissan UK to suspend production at the Nissan UK plant in my constituency.
This closure joins a growing list of automotive plants in the UK and Europe that have shutdown. As I am sure you will be aware, the automotive industry across the world is being hit hard by this crisis due to the complex and international nature of its supply chains and a sudden drop in demand.
Approximately 40,000 people rely on the plant for their livelihoods, and will be extremely concerned by this sudden development. Many people will be at home tonight fearing an uncertain future, and are looking to the Government to provide assurances.
I would like to know what steps you, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are taking to ensure that no businesses or individuals in this country bear the brunt of this crisis. It would therefore be appreciated it you were able to provide further information on the below:
Will your Government work closely with trade unions to ensure that automotive companies are providing their staff with appropriate pay during any temporary shut downs and suspensions?
What steps will your Government be taking to provide the UK automotive industry with the financial stability that it needs to cope with temporary or more long-term shut downs?
Can you commit to ensuring that your Government will do whatever necessary to ensure that businesses such as Nissan are given all the support they need to endure this crisis?
I appreciate that this is a fast moving and difficult national issue, but I want to re-iterate how important it is that people across the country have as much information as possible about what impact this crisis may have on their employment and financial security.
The Labour Party is calling for a financial stimulus package similar to the one announced in France and Germany. Developments such as the suspension at the Nissan plant are stark examples of why this is now so desperately needed.
Due to the significant public interest in this matter, I am making copy of this letter public immediately.
Mrs Sharon Hodgson MP
Washington & Sunderland West Constituency