NEWS: Chester Road manufacturer and disability employer featured in King Charles III commemorative album

Words by Kevin Emery & LOCAL AMBASSADORS / Pics supplied by Shelforce

Shelforce, a Chester Road based window and door manufacturer, has been featured in a special 75th birthday commemorative album for King Charles III.

The Erdington company was founded in 1836 and is committed to ‘employing and training those with disabilities’.

Earlier this year, Shelforce was presented with The King’s Award for Enterprise in Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility) after His Majesty the King approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation that the Erdington company be recognised in the inaugural King’s Award for Enterprise.

The Erdington based business has now been further recognised in the new book King Charles III: The Leadership and Vision of a Modern Monarch, launched at Claridge’s in central London on His Majesty’s 75th birthday earlier this month.

Published by St James’s House and royal biographer Robert Jobson, the fully illustrated and beautifully presented hardback book charts Charles’s life, from his role and responsibilities as the Prince of Wales, to his accession and coronation as king.

The special celebratory publication also highlights examples of achievement and progress across social, cultural, technological, and commercial spheres.

Howard Trotter, Shelforce’s Business Manager, met King Charles III at a royal reception hosted by His Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace for all Kings Award for Enterprise winners.

Mr Trotter said: “It is an unbelievable honour for Shelforce to feature in such an important and historic book in the year of the King’s coronation, and we are delighted to represent the local community of Erdington.”

Located at Erdington Business Park, off the Chester Road, Shelforce provides a place where people with mental or physical disability can thrive in employment and produce high quality products in a competitive market.

First established in 1839, the organisation was set up as part of the Royal School for the Blind to provide visually impaired people with paid employment and training – originally producing items such as brushes, baskets, and mats.

Relocating to Erdington in 1981 and changing its The City of Birmingham Sheltered Workshops of the Disabled in Erdington, a wider brief was established to begin employing people with different disabilities.

Eventually changing its name to Shelforce, after working with Coventry University, the local manufacturer was officially opened by The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne in 1984 – expanding its operations to include bed manufacturing, engraving, and woodwork, and making gates and fences for Birmingham City Council.

For more on Shelforce visit

NEWS: Nationwide campaign against dangerous driving holds public protest on the Chester Road today

Words and pics by Ed King

A nationwide campaign against dangerous driving is holding a public protest on the Chester Road in Erdington today.

Held at the crossroads off Gravelly Lane/Boldmere Road and Chester Road, the Safe Streets Now instigated protest will begin at 11am – running until 12noon, including a minute silence for all those killed and affected by road traffic accidents.

At the same spot in May this year, a cyclist was fatally hit by a car.

Running alongside similar protests across the country, co-ordinated by the National Safe Streets Now campaign, the Birmingham event will mirror those in Norwich, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Sheffield, Nottingham, Penarth, Oxford, Bristol, Bath, and Worcester.

Safe Streets Now chose the Gravelly Lane/Chester Road interchange as its Birmingham location due to the significant number of Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) that occur at busy crossroads across the city, as well as the fatal incident in May.

The national campaign is supported by organisations and charities including Brake, Roadpeace, Playting Out, and Action Vision Zero.

Dangerous driving has been a constituency wide concern across Erdington for many years, with ‘hotspots’ for fatal and life altering collisions being cited on Chester Road, Kingsbury Road, and the Tyburn Road.

All the UK-wide protests are being held on the same day the Department for Transport (DfT) will publish their Reported Road Casualties statistics for 2022.

According to the Government source, there were an estimated 1,711 RTC fatalities in Great Britain in 2022 with a further 29,742 killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties. The report also sates there were 135,480 casualties ‘of all severities’ in the UK last year.

Protest organiser, Mat Macdonald, told Erdington Local: “Earlier this year there was a man on a bike killed at where we will be gathering on Saturday, and as part of a series of actions taking place across the country – calling for improvements to the safety of our streets – we will be gathering at that location. Essentially to reflect on the alarming trend of road deaths in the city and to have a minute’s silence to honour all the victims of road violence.”

He continued: “We’ll be gathering at the Chester Road Baptist Church… we’re going to have a few speeches, we’re going to hold some signage up, and then we’re going to culminate with the minutes silence at midday – which will be happening at several locations across the country simultaneously.”

Reverend Danny Brierley from Chester Road Baptist Church added: “I see every day the dangers of this junction. Far too many speeding cars also cross on ‘red’, creating danger for others.

“A cyclist was tragically hit by a car and died at these lights on 31 May. I was the first to reach him. Despite the amazing efforts of an off-duty firefighter and a passing A&E Doctor, then paramedics and the Air Ambulance, his injuries were too catastrophic. I still see his face.

“Despite in places having to cross four lanes of traffic, there is no pedestrian control at this junction. Parents and carers walking their kids to and from school have to chance it.

“I appreciate money is tight, but this is a dangerous junction. What price a life? As a Church Minister I’m forever saying every person is beautifully, wonderfully made in God’s image – priceless. No one deserves to lose their life due to dangerous driving at a dangerous junction.”

Organisers have asked anyone wishing to take part to meet in front of Chester Road Baptist Church, ready for the protest to begin at 11 am.

Organisers have further confirmed with Erdington Local that there will be “stewards at (the) event” helping manage activity and that “public safety is our top priority.”

For more on Safe Streets Now visit

NEWS: Four people convicted after Chester Road drugs house raided by National Crime Agency

Words by Erdington Local editorial team / Pics supplied by National Crime Agency

Four people have been convicted after an Erdington stash house was raided by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers, who found 130 kilos of cannabis, 600 ecstasy tablets, and £30,000 cash.

The three men and one woman are all Vietnamese nationals and were using the Chester Road house as a base for a drugs operation, supplying criminal gangs across the West Midlands – the NCA reported.

Alongside the drugs found the haul, thousands of pounds worth of cash was also discovered secreted in the walls of the residential home.  

During a surveillance operation in January 2021, NCA officers followed Bui Tuan, 26, to the Chester Road semi-detached property. Pulling up in a BMW, Tuan was seen carrying a laundry bag into the house, which had been rented by Vien Phan Hoang, 37.

NCA officers raided the property, and found Din Hvan Tran, 26, and Vien’s wife Bui Thi Huong, 29, trying to hide packages of money in the garden.

Inside the Chester Road property, search teams recovered more than 130 kilos of cannabis, some of which was vacuum packed in bags ready to go. The rest was hidden inside the walls of the loft.

A further 600 ecstasy tablets and around £30,000 cash were also found, along with two kilos of a white crystalline powder later identified as ketamine.

Some of the cash was found hidden in a bush, while other bundles had been thrown into a neighbouring garden. The three men and a woman were later charged.

Hoang and Huong both pleaded guilty to the charges against them, but the others denied drug supply and money laundering offences.

In March 2023, Tuan and Tran, who was tried in his absence, were cleared of drug supply offences but found guilty of money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court.

They were both give six month suspended sentences. A bench warrant has been issued for Tran’s arrest. Hoang was sentenced to eight years in prison. The Judge said he played a significant role and was involved in large scale drug dealing whose motive was financial gain.

The details of the court case were only revealed by the NCA in August this year, when Huong finally received a six month prison sentence – suspended for six months.

NCA senior investigating officer Paul Boniface said: “This gang ran a stash house for a wider network of criminals – a location where drugs were stored before being pushed out to street dealers and sold, with cash moving in the opposite direction.

“Our investigation led to the seizure of drugs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, profits from which would have fuelled further criminality and exploitation had we not taken action.

“The NCA and our partners are determined to do all we can to protect the public from serious and organised crime.”

NEWS: Erdington dealership to host Birmingham’s only “first look” at Volvo’s new electric car

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by Paul Rigby and Ed King

An Erdington car dealership has been selected as the only place in Birmingham to host a special “first look” at Volvo’s new electric car, the Volvo EX30.

On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September, Paul Rigby Volvo on Chester Road will be unveiling the new fully electric SUV, as the Swedish car giant’s latest non fossil fuel model tours the UK in a series of special showcase events.

Alongside two days in the second city, Volvo will be touring the EX30 in Belfast, London, Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh, and a limited selection of other outlets – hand picking only one dealership in each location.

For two days only,  drivers in Erdington and wider Birmingham are invited to have an exclusive preview of Volvo EX30, Volvo’s smallest electric SUV, with a specialist offering 1-2-1 insight and advice on the new model.

Available to order since 7 June the EX30 will be ready to drive in early 2024, with prices starting at £33,795.

Having received positive reviews from car focused and industry publications since it’s release, Car Magazine described the Swedish manufacturer as ‘bringing out the big guns when it comes to design, technology on board’ for the Volvo EX30 – alongside praising it’s ‘interior design… full of clever details’, environmentally friendly build, and pricing.

Click here to book a place to view the Volvo EX30 at Paul Rigby Volvo on Chester Road.

Home to the Jaguar Landrover Castle Bromwich plant, now owned by the Indian based automotive manufacturing giant Tata Motors, Erdington has long been synonymous with car manufacturing.

Although the North Birmingham constituency was denied the chance to once again be a leader in the automotive industry when Tata bosses announced they would establish their new £4bn ‘giga-factory’ in Somerset, despite initial indications Erdington or Coventry would house the battery building facility.

The Paul Rigby group is an independent family run businesses with dealerships in Solihull, Redditch, Stourbridge, and Birmingham – with its ‘flagship purpose-built premises’ situated on Chester Road in Erdington since 2013

A self-declared ‘eco conscious business’, Paul Rigby’s website further states ‘when time and consideration was taken on our next environmental steps the solution was clear, electric cars were the way forward.’

Andy Kirkham, Sales Director at Paul Rigby Birmingham, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the brand-new EX30 and look forward to welcoming Birmingham drivers along for a first look at this stunning new car.

“The EX30 offers all of the premium quality, safety and sustainability associated with Volvo Cars, in a convenient, compact and affordable package.

“We welcome Birmingham drivers to pop into Paul Rigby Birmingham to see the small but mighty EX30 and chat to our friendly team of experts, or to book a timed slot to have a more detailed preview of the car with a Volvo Specialist.”

To book a place to view the Volvo EX30 at Paul Rigby Volvo on Chester Road, on Saturday 9 or Sunday 10 September, visit

For more on the Paul Rigby group visit

OPINION: Erdington Cllr Robert Alden, Leader of Birmingham Conservatives

Words by Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington Ward, Conservative)

June has been another busy month, here is just some of what Cllr Gareth Moore and I have been up to in recent weeks.

We have continued to work with local Police and High Street businesses to make the High Street safer. We have written to the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police as part of our on-going call for average speed cameras on the Chester Road to help tackle people racing along the road.

This is something we have been raising with the Council for a number of years – sadly this site has seen a number of fatalities in recent years, the last leading to a reduction in the speed limit from 40 to 30mph. The Chester Road has a number of vulnerable locations including Pype Hayes Park and the Yenton School.

We are also speaking to the Council about what improvements to road safety are possible at the sites of the other recent horrific crashes locally, and will update residents when there is progress on the options.

We also supported the Neighbourhood Watch meeting to discuss HMO’s and Exempt Accommodation. Earlier this month I joined with colleagues to meet with members of the Eastern European community across North Birmingham to discuss local democracy and issues.

Finally, I have launched a petition opposing the plan to convert the Royal Oak on the corner of Marsh Lane/Short Heath Road into a 10 bed HMO. You can sign the petition at

For more from Cllr Robert Alden and Cllr Gareth Moore visit

NEWS: Workers at GKN Chester Road factory vote ‘yes’ on redundancy package

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by Unite, Jack Dromey MP, Google Street View

Workers at the GKN Chester Road factory have voted ‘yes’ to a redundancy package offered by GKN’s owners, Melrose PLC.

After months of fighting the factory’s closure, including the threat of industrial action in September, the 500 plus workforce have now agreed to take the severance pay.

Referring to the Chester Road closure as a “betrayal of a highly skilled workforce”, a statement from Unite the Union told how workers at the GKN Chester Road plant had “little option but to accept a redundancy scheme offered by GKN Melrose after the company refused to reconsider the union’s plan to save the plant despite the government’s request for it to do so.”

Melrose PLC announced their plans to close the Chester Road plant in January 2021, which would see the loss of 519 jobs and major disruption to the local automotive supply chain – GKN Chester Road are a significant supplier to the neighbouring Jaguar Land Rover factory.

Following intervention from Unite the Union, Jack Dromey MP for Erdington, Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward, and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Melrose eventually entered discussions to explore another possibility to the closure.

However, Erdington Local learned the multi-million pound venture capitalists took only a matter of minutes to reject any alternative plans – committing to the Chester Road closure and sealing the fate of over 500 workers.

A further vote was then passed by Chester Road workers to accept the redundancy package from Melrose PLC.

Following the announcement workers would be taking ‘a negotiated redundancy package’, Jack Dromey MP for Erdington said:

“What cannot now be allowed to happen is for the plant and the 519 strong workforce to be thrown on the scrapheap.

“This plant is a site of British manufacturing excellence with a world-class manufacturing capability. The skill and experience of the workforce is irreplaceable and the envy of many in the industry.

“It is utterly shameful that GKN/Melrose have chosen to close the plant and turn their back on this loyal workforce. The loss of 519 good, well-paid jobs in an area of high deprivation – the fifth most deprived constituency in the country – will be a hammer blow.”

“The closure of the plant by GKN/Melrose is a betrayal of the British national interest.

“Never again can our manufacturing base be left so exposed to the greed and short-termism of private equity-style firms who have no interest in the long-term strategic interests of the British automotive industry.

“While the company have chosen to walk away, I firmly believe that the Chester Road site can have a bright future through an alternative use being found.

“I will continue to work closely with the workers’ union, Unite, the Government, the Mayor of the West Midlands and the Leader of Birmingham City Council to explore this option.

“The workers can be assured of my unrelenting support to leave no stone unturned to keep production going and protect manufacturing in the West Midlands.”

Unite national officer Des Quinn added: “For 10 months our members at GKN have fought hard to save this plant but it is apparent that GKN Melrose was never prepared to reconsider its original decision.

“Having failed to get Melrose to change its mind, the government must not fail the GKN workers again.

“The government must play a dynamic role in finding a company to take over Chester Road and save as many jobs as possible in the process because these are the skills our country needs if we’re to step up to the demands of climate action.”

To find out more about GKN Automotive visit
For more from Unite the Union visit
For more from Jack Dromey MP for Erdington visit  

NEWS: Strike at GKN Chester Road factory ‘suspended’ until October

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by Unite and Jack Dromey MP

The planned strike at the GKN Chester Road factory will be suspended until Monday 18 October, announced Unite the Union in a statement issued this week.

Scheduled to begin on Monday 27 September, industrial action will now be put on hold for at least three weeks whilst representatives of the 500 strong workforce finally begin talks with GKN owners Melrose PLC.

GKN workers, Unite the Union, and Erdington MP Jack Dromey have been calling for emergency talks with Melrose for several months, wanting to explore alternatives to closing the plant, but have been constantly rebuffed.

At the eleventh hour ahead of industrial action Melrose have now agreed to enter talks about the future of the plant, which provides essential drives lines for the automotive industry – including the nearby Jaguar Land Rover plant at Castle Vale.

A plan for the Chester Road factory had previously been put forward and hopes remain the Erdington site could play a key part in the electrification of the UK’s automotive sector, building the new propulsion units needed in electric vehicles.

Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “In the spirit of good will, the planned strike action has been suspended to allow for talks about the future of the factory with key stakeholders to take place.

“It is hoped that all sides can use this window of opportunity to secure a long term future for the factory.

“Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.”

Since the closure was announced at the start of the year, MP for Erdington Jack Dromey has been working with Unite the Union to negotiate a deal to save the Erdington factory.

Mr Dromey added: “The reopening of negotiations between the workers, their union, Unite, and GKN/Melrose presents a real opportunity to secure a settlement to save the GKN plant from closure.

“The GKN workers and Unite have always been clear that they stood ready to enter any discussions to save the GKN Chester Road plant from closure.

“In the spirit of that commitment they have suspended strike action to allow these talks to now take place. In return, the company have made clear their commitment to pause any movement of works and machinery out of the plant.

“It is vital that all those involved in these talks now do all they can to keep the plant open and to stop 519 well-paid, skilled jobs being lost in one of Britain’s most deprived communities.

“The role of Government will be key to prevent closure and the export of production to Poland and France. The British Automotive industry needs high-quality components made here in Britain.”

To find out more about GKN Automotive visit

For more from Unite the Union visit

For more from Jack Dromey MP for Erdington visit  


NEWS: GKN Chester Road workers on ‘all out continuous strikes’ from September 27

Words by Ed King / Pics supplied by Unite the Union and Jack Dromey MP

Workers at GKN Chester Road’s factory will be on ‘all out continuous strikes’ from Monday September 27, a statement from Unite the Union announced today.

Earlier in the month, Unite the Union held a ballot for industrial action with 95% of workers who voted saying they were in favour of strikes.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GKN’s cynical attempt to close its Erdington plant is a disgrace. We will not stand by and let this employer offshore British jobs without a fight.

“We will leave no stone unturned in the ongoing battle to ensure the future of the Birmingham factory and our members.”

Unite national officer Des Quinn added: “Melrose GKN has grave questions to answer, if it has taken government money for research and development and now intends to use what it has developed abroad, that is a betrayal of the workforce, a betrayal of Birmingham and a betrayal of UK taxpayers.”

In January 2021 GKN Driveline owners Melrose PLC announced plans to close the Chester Road, with production being moved to plants in Poland and France – making over 500 Erdington workers unemployed.

Hopes were the Erdington factory could play a key part in the electrification of the UK’s automotive sector, building the new propulsion units needed in electric vehicles.

But despite repeated efforts from Unite the Union, Jack Dromey MP for Erdington, and the Chester Road factory staff, Melrose have remained steadfast in their plans to close the Chester Road site.

In a previous statement, Melrose said: “GKN Automotive has fully considered the counter proposals put forward. However, the outlook for the highly competitive automotive market remains unchanged.

“Regretfully, therefore, we are proceeding with our proposal to close the site. Supporting our people continues to be our priority.”

Jack Dromey MP raised concerns over the future of the Chester Road factory when Melrose took over GKN back in 2018.

Since the closure was announced at the start of the year, Mr Dromey has been working with Unite the Union to negotiate a deal to save the Erdington factory.

In response to today’s announcement, setting the date for strike action as Monday September 27, Jack Dromey MP said: “For the past eight months, the 519 workers at GKN Chester Road have fought hard to explore all possible alternatives to closure of the Chester Road site.

“In that time, GKN/Melrose have rejected the workers’ comprehensive alternative business plan and since then have flatly refused repeated invitations to enter further discussions about how to save the plant from closure.

“GKN/Melrose have shown nothing but contempt for the workers and what is at stake for them and their families and also the great damage closure will inflict on the local economy.

“Faced with such intransigence by GKN/Melrose and their intention to push ahead with closure by summer 2022, the workers have been left with no alternative but to take strike action.

“The workers have mine and the local community’s 100% support. As their local MP, I and their trade union, Unite, will continue to explore all options to keep jobs and production at Chester Road.

“We believe there is a way forward and we stand ready to enter any talks to save the plant. GKN/Melrose and the Government must now show the same commitment.”

To find out more about GKN Automotive visit
For more from Unite the Union visit
For more from Jack Dromey MP for Erdington visit

NEWS: Strike action set for GKN Chester Road factory as workers ‘fight for their jobs’

Words by Adam Smith / Pics supplied by Unite and Jack Dromey MP for Erdington

Workers at GKN Driveline have overwhelmingly voted to strike in the face of the Chester Road factory being closed next year.

Unite the Union held a ballot for industrial action and revealed today 95% of workers who voted wanted industrial action.

Announcing the ballot result Unite declared if GKN’s owners do not back down over closure they “could see strike action hit the plant and customers over the coming weeks.”

There was a turnout of 95% meaning of the 519 workers facing redundancy 93.1% voted to strike.

Unite can now call a strike within the next six months providing they give GKN seven days notice.

In January this year, GKN Driveline owners Melrose announced plans to close the factory and have ignored Unite the Union’s alternative business plan to save the factory.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “This is a tremendous result and shows the determination and confidence of the GKN workforce to fight for their jobs, their community and the long-term future of their plant.

“This is a highly viable plant which could and should be playing a leading role as the UK moves to the electrification of its automotive sector.”

He added: “It is now incumbent that everyone concerned with the future of GKN Driveline including customers, the government, local politicians and GKN’s parent company Melrose PLC, come together to hammer out a future for the plant and the UK’s supply of key components.

“The alternative is a long drawn-out dispute that will damage both GKN and the company’s customer base.

“We have called an urgent meeting of all parties involved and expect both GKN, its customer base, as well as the government, to respond positively to a viable alternative plan to secure the plant’s future.

“The ball is now firmly in GKN and Melrose’s court and how they respond will dictate how this dispute will develop over the coming weeks and months.”

Erdington MP Jack Dromey worked extensively on the alternative business plan for the GKN plant and backed workers plans for industrial action.

He said: “Today’s result sends a clear and unambiguous message to Melrose/GKN that the 519 workers will do all in their power to save the historic Chester Road plant from closure.

“In one of the poorest constituencies in the country, the closure of the Chester Road plant would be a hammer-blow to the local community.

“Generations of local families have been given greater opportunities in life due to GKN, yet Melrose/GKN now want to close the plant without even considering any alternative to closure.”

He added: “The workers have today shown that they will stand up to protect their livelihoods, their local community and the opportunities available for future generations. They remain open to any discussions to avoid industrial action and to keep the plant open. They can be assured of my wholehearted support.”

To find out more about GKN visit

For more from Unite the Union visit

For more from Jack Dromey MP for Erdington visit

NEWS: GKN workers have ‘exhausted every avenue’ as voting begins over strike at Chester Road factory

Words by Adam Smith / Pics supplied by Unite and Jack Dromey MP

GKN Driveline workers have received their ballots for strike action and union bosses are urging them to vote yes.

Unite the Union held an online meeting last night to discuss industrial action and received messages of solidarity from workers across the world.

GKN Unite convener Frank Duffy, Unite West Midlands Regional Secretary Annmarie Kilcline, and Erdington MP Jack Dromey all spoke at the meeting – as well as some of the 519 workers who face redundancy if owners Melrose close the Chester Road factory.

Workers who are making their minds up about whether to strike have already been threatened by Melrose management.

Frank Duffy said: “Workers have been given letters threatening them if they vote yes in the ballot. They were returned to management and then letters were sent to home addresses but again the workforce brought them into the factory and told management they were not listening. I could not be more proud of them.”

If workers strike they will lose pay and bonuses, but Unite the Union is already fundraising for workers welfare during the potential strike.

Erdington workers have been joined in solidarity by workers in Florence, Italy, where Melrose is also closing a factory, leaving thousands more employees jobless.

Mr Duffy believes they have been forced into taking the last resort, industrial action.

He said: “Melrose has undermined this factory for years, the internal market of GKN consistently meant our factory lost out but we were told it was fine because the rest of the company was profitable.

“There are 51 sites across the world but just one in the UK, where the business started, and they are closing this one. Germany would not allow it; France would not, and our Government should not let this scandal happen.”

“They have paid lip service to the workers throughout this sham, they call it a consultation but I call it a sham, but as soon as they made the decision to close us down in January that was it.

“We have done everything possible, including creating an alternative business plan for the plant, but we were ignored.

“We’ve had seven months of hell but are now at a point when they have to listen to us – that’s why I am urging everyone to vote yes on their ballot for industrial action.”

Erdington MP Jack Dromey has been holding weekly meetings with Unite officials since the Melrose revealed its closure plans, which he warned would happen during its hostile takeover of the British engineering institution in 2016, as well as lobbying the Government to take a more proactive role.

He said: “GKN has a remarkable 262 years of history which can be traced back to when it provided the cannonballs for the British to fight Napoleon. The company contributed to the building of the Spitfire which helped defeat the Nazis.

“The Chester Road factory is a vital part of the future of electrification of the industry and cannot be allowed to close.”

He added: “I know the workers have exhausted every avenue available to them and that is why I am backing their decision to take industrial action.

“For every worker who will lose their job at GKN a further two will lose their jobs in the supply chain.”

Several workers made emotional speeches during the meeting describing how much GKN Driveline means to them and their families.

Robert’s family has clocked up 74 years of work at the Chester Road site with his father and grandfather working at the plant before him.

Stuart Turner said: “I’ve been at the factory near enough from school and I know what a devastating impact its closure will have on surrounding areas like Erdington and Castle Vale.

“We need to send a message that we will not back down.”

Unite West Midlands Regional Secretary Annmarie Kilbride revealed a hardship fund has already been set up in anticipation of a strike for workers who will have their wages docked.

She said: “We need the Government to step in if they are serious about levelling up and keeping skilled jobs in this country.

“I urge everyone to support these GKN workers in whatever way they can.”

The result of the ballot for industrial action will be revealed at the end of July.

To find out more about GKN Automotive visit
For more from Unite the Union visit
For more from Jack Dromey MP for Erdington visit