08 Jun 2012
Unite urges public bodies to buy British
Union leaders at Unite, the UK’s biggest trade union, have issued a 10-point plan called Driving Growth to encourage public bodies to support the UK’s automotive and components industries.
This follows a Freedom of Information request which found that, despite there being a wide choice of high-quality vehicle manufacturers in the UK, 72% of vehicles procured by police authorities are manufactured overseas. Merseyside police procure 11.5% of their vehicles from UK-based manufacturers, but only 8% from Vauxhall. Meanwhile, West Midlands police procure 30% of their vehicles from UK-based manufacturers, but only 2% from Jaguar Land Rover.
The union proposes a ‘positive procurement’ policy, backed by the Government, to buy vehicles manufactured in the UK. The public sector spends around £220 billion a year on procurement.Unite national officer Roger Maddison said: “The Government could boost demand at a stroke by introducing a procurement strategy to support UK motor manufacturing. It is outrageous that 72% of police vehicles are built outside the UK; this would never happen in Germany or France. Public bodies in the UK should use their buying power to support UK manufacturing. An interventionist Government could do so much to support jobs and skills in manufacturing.”