Gloucestershire

Blaze-hit Dowty Propellers 'committed to factory staff'

Fire damage at Dowty's in Staverton Image copyright Tim Clapp
Image caption The factory blaze was one of the largest seen in Gloucestershire in many years

The owner of a blaze-hit propeller manufacturer in Gloucestershire has said it is "committed" to the workers.

GE Aviation bosses met earlier with Dowty Propeller's 250 staff from the Staverton factory which was mostly destroyed by a fire on Thursday.

However, the US-based parent company said it was too early to comment on the workers' immediate future.

A Unite spokesman said union officials would be working to safeguard members' wages as a "top priority".

Image copyright Tim Clapp
Image caption The fire began in the roof space at the Dowty Propellers' factory in Staverton
Image copyright AIRTEAMIMAGES.COM
Image caption Dowty makes propellers for the C130J Super Hercules (right) and the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 (left)

The fire - which began in the roof space of the production facility - was described by the emergency services as one of the largest seen in the county in many years.

Some 80 firefighters tackled the blaze which destroyed 80% of the factory building. The cause remains unknown.

'Employee welfare'

Neil Siddons, from GE Aviation, said teams were working around the clock to assess what it would take to get operations back up and running again.

He said the long-term commitment to the facility in Gloucestershire was "never in any doubt".

"The business is committed to Dowty Propellers and the business is committed to the employees of Dowty Propellers and their welfare," he added.

Christine Starling, from Unite, told the BBC she had received a message from a union member at a staff meeting reporting the firm would continue to pay factory staff.

She added that workers were also told the company wanted to rebuild the facility in the area.

The burned-out main production line was used to make propellers for the C130J Super Hercules and the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400.

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