ERDINGTON, England — Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd. (DATL) has opened talks with trade unions at its plant in Erdington over plans to cut 200 jobs there, as demand for aircraft tires drops due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on aviation.
"We're incredibly disappointed to see proposed job cuts at Dunlop," according to GMB Union organizer Rebecca Mitchell, who said "emergency talks" with company officials were scheduled June 26 to discuss and "better respond to" the planned redundancies.
The proposed cuts represent just under half of DATL's total payroll of 450 staff, according to local press reports.
The manufacturer has blamed the impact of COVID-19 on the decision, as travel restrictions have caused a drop in orders.
DATL CEO Gordon Roper, in comments to the BBC, said the grounding of commercial flights and airline operators entering bankruptcy had led to a "sharp reduction" in demand for the tire maker.
The company official said he could not see a return to normality "for a number of years."
A 45-day consultation process is under way with staff and trade unions.
DATL is the second aircraft tire maker to disclose productions cuts tied to the pandemic, following Michelin North America Inc.'s announcement earlier this week that its aircraft tire plant in Norwood is operating at reduced hours due to the economic impact of COVID-19.