Businesses around here are taking a bit of a beating already, especially the pharmaceutical industry, with SKB in Crawley and Novertis in Horsham both closing sites. A lot of the workers are going to find it hard to find jobs in the same industry without looking well outside the immediate area. The Novartis staff have another problem on top of all that: the redundancy packages they will be getting are a lot less than those workers in other locations are getting from the same employer.
Novartis are also making staff redundant in Liverpool and the packages there are worth about twice what the Horsham staff are getting. The difference between the two sites? The Liverpool site was unionised. (See this story in the County Times)
I see the same thing where I work. My part of the company has a union presence and the terms we negotiated for redundancy are a lot better than those in other parts of the company. Of course the union hopes that the cost of redundancy will ensure the company don’t resort to it lightly and see it as a last resort, but if the worse happens we have better protection.
I do hope the Novartis staff are successful in finding new jobs, but when they do will they be more inclined to participate in union membership? It would be nice to think so.