Crunch talks over Crane job losses

TRADES union representatives are set for crunch talks with Crane bosses over the axing of more than 200 jobs.Officers from the Amicus section of Unite are due to meet managers of the Nacton Road firm on Thursday.

TRADES union representatives are set for crunch talks with Crane bosses over the axing of more than 200 jobs.

Officers from the Amicus section of Unite are due to meet managers of the Nacton Road firm on Thursday.

Crane, which makes valves, fittings and engineering produces, plans to lose 210 jobs after it agreed an £18million sale of its site.

It wants to end its manufacturing operation in Ipswich and move certain processes to lower cost countries and to its other UK site at Hitchin in Hertfordshire.

But the union wants to keep in Ipswich the jobs earmarked for Hitchin.

Ian Marshall, regional officer for the Amicus section of Unite, said the talks will also be a chance for the union to argue for higher redundancy payments and to try to reduce the number of production job losses.

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He added: “But it depends how much it costs and whether Crane is willing to spend.

“We hope to keep in Ipswich the jobs planned to go to Hitchin.”

Mr Marshall also said that workers at Crane were still coming to terms with news of Crane's plans, which were announced shortly before Christmas.

He said: “Our members are still in a state of shock.”

Mr Marshall has said he fears staff who have worked at Crane for 30 years could be entitled to around £7,000 only as a redundancy payment.

But Peter Wilson, managing director of Crane, has denied the claims and said there is no basis for the figures.

In December Crane announced that it had sold its 43-acre Nacton Road site to Allied Property and Leisure Group which is hoping for the green light for a mixed-use scheme.

n. Are you one of the workers affected? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk