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Darren supports Channel 4 move to Bristol

Darren attended a Channel 4 event to make the case for Bristol being a Channel 4 creative hub. Here’s what he had to say about this, speaking to the Bristol Post:

We are going full-hog for this. They are consulting with staff about who would like to move and I have spoken to a lot of Channel 4 staff who are thrilled at the prospect of moving to Bristol.

Bristol is attractive for people who work at Channel 4. It is close to London and we have a centre of expertise in terms of the creative industries and links with the BBC. We tick all the boxes.

You can read the full article here: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/…/bristol-pushing-forward-bec…

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Darren speaks to BBC Bristol about GKN

This interview covered what’s going on with Melrose’s GKN takeover, workers’ futures and what Darren’s doing about the situation. Listen to the full interview here:

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Darren holds debate on waiters and waitresses’ tips

Darren has recently been campaigning on the issue of what happens to tips left at restaurants, following Bristol activists and the Bristol Post raising the issue in relation to Aqua Italia. There, as well as at Turtle Bay, workers were made to pay a percentage of their table orders to restaurants, in case they received tips. This sometimes meant workers were forced to got to a cash-point to pay their employer, as they hadn’t made enough in tips.

You can watch Darren’s full speech in the debate below:

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Darren supports Asda worker’s pension campaign

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has written to the CEO of Asda, Roger Burnley, highlighting his concerns about proposed changes to non-salaried employees death in service and pension benefits.

Darren was made aware of the changes following contact from GMB union reps in his constituency. Many constituents in Bristol North West, who work at the Avonmouth depot as well as the large Asda Walmart at Cribbs Causeway, could be affected if the plans are implemented.

Darren said:

“ Workers rights and their terms and conditions must be protected – watering them down over time is not acceptable. I’ve made Asda’s CEO aware of my concerns about the changes they are planning to make. I hope they will re-think, engage with unions and maintain above legal minimum pension contributions for their hard working employees”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren visits GKN workers at Western Approach

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones visited GKN Aerospace and met with union reps and staff at the company’s Western Approach depot near Avonmouth on February 15th.

GKN is a UK engineering firm with 6,000 UK employees across 14 sites. Two of these locations are in North Bristol and employ upwards of 2,000 people. And as a major supply chain business to other advanced manufacturing companies in the aerospace industry (such as Airbus), GKN plays a vital role in one of our most important industries in the UK and, in the South West, as its number one sectoral employer. The Western Approach site is the home of the A350 and A400M Wing Spars.

Darren was especially keen to meet staff and union reps as Melrose has started a hostile takeover bid of GKN. Melrose has the stated aim of taking over, turning around and then selling off companies in a short amount of time. This hostile takeover bid has been unanimously rejected by the GKN board and by Unite the Union on behalf of the workforce. Darren has written to Business Secretary, Greg Clarke, to ask the government to intervene on ground of national interest and security.

You can find out more about the hostile takeover bid and how to show your support for workers here.

Pictured below, with Darren, is Western Approach Process Team Leader Jason Gabriel. Jason followed in his father’s footsteps by working at GKN. Jason started at the Filton site as a temp and obtained a permanent job whilst undertaking further training as a skilled fitter, he has since progressed to Team Leader.

Darren said:

“ I found the visit extremely useful and am proud to be backing the workforce at GKN. I was particularly pleased to meet Jason, and his colleagues, and see first-hand the development opportunities available to local people through employment at GKN. The staff and unions are fighting to protect a proud part of Bristol’s heritage, thousands of jobs and the potentially devastating impact on the local supply chain. I stand shoulder to shoulder with them and will continue to support and champion their cause”

 

 

 

 

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Darren visits Honda to discuss Brexit and Skills

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones visited Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd site in Swindon on Thursday 15 February 2018 as part of the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship. This visit is part of an educational programme furthering his knowledge on technology, innovation and skills.

Darren Jones MP was able to gain insight the opportunities and challenges Honda faces in Europe given the current economic and political climate. The visit also enabled him to gain a better understanding of the employment and skills challenges with manufacturers both foreign based in the UK and UK based exporters, which supports his role as a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee.

The Swindon plant is Honda’s flagship production facility in Europe, currently employing a workforce of around 4,000 and in 2017 took on 600 new people as a result of a recent £200mn investment. The visit highlighted why Swindon was chosen as the location for their UK site as well as providing insight into Honda UK’s second apprenticeship programme; the Toolmaking Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme which develops Tool and Die Maintenance Technicians that are responsible for maintaining the specialist tooling that is in use throughout our site.

During the visit, Darren met with Patrick Keating, European Public Affairs Manager, who talked about the history of Honda and the day-to-day operations at the factory. Darren was also given a tour of the fully integrated car manufacturing facility – from casting and engine assembly through to welding and final assembly.

Darren said:

“I found the visit extremely useful. It really helped my understanding of the challenges and opportunities Honda face and I was very grateful for everyone giving up their time. The factory is an excellent site and you can really see how recent investment has boosted the operations here. I would like to thank the IPT for organising this visit and look forward to my other visits.”

Louise Hanson, Business Operations Division manager, Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd added:

Our Swindon factory is a key part of Honda’s highly integrated European regional operations. We were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss our business and the future of Honda of the UK Manufacturing with Darren Jones. It is also great to support the work the Industry and Parliament Trust does in order to bridge the gap between industry and Parliament.”

 

 

 

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Darren backs ‘The Year of Engineering’

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has pledged his support to a national campaign to get more young people (and those from a diverse range of backgrounds) into engineering, in an effort to tackle a major skills gap.

The Year of Engineering, which launched on Monday 15th January, will see government work with hundreds of industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged 7-16, their parents and their teachers. This will include offering at least a million direct experiences of engineering to young people from all backgrounds – from behind the scenes tours and family days out, to school visits and the chance to meet engineering role models.

Darren Jones MP said:

” The UK faces an estimated shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates a year, with half of companies in the sector saying the shortage is having a significant impact on productivity and growth. By bringing young people from all backgrounds face to face with engineering experiences and role models, the campaign aims to showcase the creativity and innovation of engineering careers and widen the pool of young people who consider the profession, diversifying a workforce that is currently 91% male and 94% white! I am pleased to support any campaign that encourages young people in my constituency to aim high and fulfil their potential”.

 

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Darren asks government about sexism

Darren asked whether the Secretary of State for International Development would support the charity Theirworld and their campaign on attitudes and behaviours around women in school and education.

Darren asked

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to support the charity Theirworld’s #RewritingTheCode campaign on attitudes and behaviours that prevent girls and women from succeeding and leading.

Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, replied:

We welcome any action that supports girls and women to succeed and lead and therefore applaud TheirWorld’s campaign. DFID is committed to challenging and changing the negative attitudes and discriminatory practices that hold women and girls back throughout their lives. UKaid funded programmes have secured pledges from more than 8 million people to abandon female genital mutilation and have reached over 750,000 girls at risk of child marriage. UKaid also supports women and girls to achieve their full potential through education, supporting more than 5.3 million girls in school and helping over 36 million women access financial services.

It is perhaps disappointing that the government refused to go as far as stating support of the campaign.