Time running out for UK brick industry ‘on brink of collapse’.

Posted by Jon Parker-Dean
Tuesday 5 December 2023
GMB Trade Union - Time running out for UK brick industry ‘on brink of collapse’.

Broken Government housebuilding pledges and skyrocketing energy prices are to blame, says GMB.

GMB union has today warned that time is running out for the UK’s brick industry.

The warning comes as construction materials giant Wienerberger announced potential job losses, citing spiralling energy costs and shortage of demand from housebuilding projects.

Other major names in the UK’s brick industry including Ibstock, Forterra and Marshalls have announced factory closures, with Marshalls cutting up to 250 jobs.

The brick industry sustains nearly 8,000 jobs in the UK, with countless more in the industry supply chain.

GMB has written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Michael Gove, calling for urgent intervention from the Government. You can find our letter here.

Stuart Harrison, GMB Organiser, said:

“The UK brick industry is collapsing at the same time as people are struggling to find housing.

“Houses simply aren’t being built and this Government have failed to deliver on their promises.

“With sky rocketing energy costs squeezing the industry, it’s more important than ever that decision makers consider the thousands of jobs sustained by the sector.

“Without a thriving brick industry the UK’s housing crisis can only get worse whilst communities relying on these jobs are plunged into uncertainty.

“Our union’s priority is to maintain employment in the sector and we will be working with the sector to avoid minimise the impact

A Wienerberger spokesperson said:

“Whilst we are operating in a tough market environment, it is essential that we make these difficult decisions and implement necessary changes to ensure our business is in a good position.

“We have made efforts to minimise the impact on our colleagues as we will be able to redeploy the majority of affected roles to other areas of our business.

“If demand changes, we will, as we have before, re-evaluate our production levels.“

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